n a new survey of the best places in the world for expats to live, Taiwan came in second, just a wee bit ahead of China and Hong Kong.
This year, the annual Expat Insider ranking, produced by the Munich-based expatriate network InterNations, surveyed more than 18,000 expats representing 178 nationalities, getting their opinions on everything from the quality of life in their adopted home to the cost of childcare, the ease of settling in, and their career prospects.
Taiwan ranked at the top in terms of overall quality of life and exceedingly well pretty much everywhere else. Expats were particularly high on Taiwan’s affordable healthcare (96% favorable), convenient transportation infrastructure (97%), and public safety (98%). Though the native language was rated as a significant barrier, the Taiwanese people were ranked 3rd in terms of friendliness and Taiwan came in 8th in the ease of finding friends.
While expat salaries weren’t especially high in Taiwan, 79% of expats were still generally satisfied with their financial situation. Meanwhile, they also spent much less time at work each week than the global average (39.9 hours to 44 hours) and the cost of living was comparatively low.
Taiwan actually placed first in this survey in 2016. It slid back to 4th last year, but rose back to the top three again this year. Here’s the rest of the top 10:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
You’ll notice that both China and Hong Kong are nowhere to be found on the above list. That’s because they are all the way back at 55th and 56th, respectively, out of a total of only 68 countries and regions.
China failed to really impress in any category, ranking highest in “economy and job security” (12th) and “travel and transport” (14th) and lowest in what else but “digital life” (67th, ahead of only Myanmar), “language” (66th), “feeling at home” (66th), and “health and well being” (65th).
Meanwhile, Hong Kong had one obvious, overriding problem, ranking at the bottom in terms of cost of living. The former British colony actually dropped down 17 spots from last year, even managing to slide past mainland China.
Here’s the bottom 10:
67. Saudi Arabia