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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Playing Happy Families in the Czech Republic

Most expats in the Czech Republic are very satisfied with their family life, but it can be hard to find friends.
  • First place in Working Abroad Index
  • 78% rate economy favorably
  • Over nine in ten parents (92%) happy with children’s health
  • In top 5 for Quality of Life Index
  • Czech is a significant language barrier

Top Marks for Working Abroad

Expats working in the Czech Republic have everything they could ever want in terms of working abroad. The country comes 1st out of 65 destinations in the Working Abroad Index, and expats are particularly satisfied with their job and career, as well as work-life balance. An Australian working in the Czech Republic says: “My working conditions are excellent here. My employer offers me a lot of benefits, including more vacation days and good healthcare.”

While 53% of expats worldwide rate their career prospects positively, 65% of expats in the Czech Republic are happy with this aspect; three-quarters also rate their job satisfaction positively. Although working hours aren’t too different from the global average, working expats in the Czech Republic are more satisfied than the average expatriate (76% vs. 61%). This leads to the Czech Republic doing well in the Work-Life Balance subcategory, where it ranks 4th out of 65, with 73% of expats saying they’re happy with their work-life balance.

My working conditions are excellent here. My employer offers me a lot of benefits, including more vacation days and good healthcare.

The labor market in the Czech Republic is strong, and unemployment rates are at an all-time low. The Financial Times states that this is due to the growth in economic activity, and young people having more success entering the labor market. This current prosperity could be one reason why 78% of expats rate the state of the local economy favorably, as opposed to a global average of 56%.

Fun for Families

Relocating to the Czech Republic with family is a popular choice: 34% of expats living there are currently raising children, compared to 26% worldwide. According to one British expat, “it’s easy to live [here] and kids can be safe and independent.” Over half of expat parents (52%) are completely happy with the friendly attitude towards families with kids. More than nine in ten (92%) are satisfied with their children’s health, and almost all (98%) rate their children’s safety favorably, compared to a global average of 79%.

There’s plenty to keep your children entertained: 92% of expat parents in the Czech Republic are happy with the available leisure options for kids, and the same percentage is satisfied with their family life in general. It’s not just activities for kids where the Czech Republic performs well: nine in ten expats say leisure options are good generally, and 50% even rate them as very good. These positive ratings help boost the country to the 5th place in the Quality of Life Index.

It’s easy to live here and kids can be safe and independent.

Expats in the Czech Republic are also happy with travel and transport: around two-thirds (65%) rate the travel opportunities as very good, compared to 46% globally. An Australian expat says that “there is a lot of cultural activities available and a long rich history … The public transport infrastructure is excellent”. Seven in ten expats agree that transport infrastructure in the Czech Republic is great — 38 percentage points more than the global average.

A Comfortable Culture, but a Challenge to Find Friends

Almost two-thirds of respondents (66%) find it relatively easy to settle down in the Czech Republic, slightly more than the global average of 59%. Nearly three in five expats (61%) even say they feel “at home” in the Czech culture, and the same percentage thinks it is easy to get used to the local culture.

The people are not warm and friendly but underneath the tough exterior, they are kind and tolerant.

Nevertheless, almost half (49%) find it difficult to make local friends. This could be linked to the (lack of) friendliness of the local population: around one in three (31%) rate the Czechs negatively for this factor, compared to 14% globally. One American expat laments the “rudeness and coldness towards strangers”, but another survey respondent from Australia sees the silver lining: “The people are not warm and friendly but underneath the tough exterior, they are kind and tolerant.”

Hard to Speak the Language

Mixing with the local residents is only made harder by the Czech language. Prior to their move, 44% of respondents considered it to be a potential disadvantage of moving to the Czech Republic. It seems they were proven right: almost five-sixths of expats in the Czech Republic (82%) find it generally hard to learn the local language. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to live in the country: 43% find it difficult to live there without speaking Czech.

Getting Bang for Your Buck

Five in seven expats are also satisfied with their overall financial situation, with another 89% considering their disposable household income enough or more than enough to cover their expenses. This is despite 54% stating that their income is lower than it would be in a similar job back home. In fact, 59% have an annual household income of 12,000–50,000 USD.

This satisfaction is most likely due to lower living costs. The Czech Republic comes in 5th place out of 65 countries in the Cost of Living Index, with 84% saying it’s generally affordable. Cheap accommodation might have contributed to these rankings: 68% of respondents are generally satisfied with the price of housing in the Czech Republic.

Further Reading