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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Expat Insider 2019 Country Ranking Factors

In 2019, a total of 20,259 expatriates took part in the Expat Insider survey. Participants were asked to rate up to 48 different factors concerning various aspects of life abroad, which form the basis of the overall ranking.


The Expat Insider 2019 survey was conducted by InterNations and ran from 7 to 28 March 2019. The online survey was promoted through the InterNations community, newsletter, and the company’s social media profiles. The target audience included all kinds of expatriates, from foreign assignees — expats in the typical sense of employees on a corporate assignment — and international hires to self-made expats relocating for a better quality of life and people making the move for various other reasons. Responses were not limited to members of the InterNations community.  

A total of 20,259 expatriates took part, representing 182 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories. The survey results are published in the form of an overall ranking of common expat destinations and plenty of additional information regarding five topical indices: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, and Personal Finance. For a country to be listed in any of the indices and in the overall ranking, a sample size of at least 75 survey participants per destination is required. The only exception to this rule is the Family Life Index, where a sample size of at least 40 respondents raising children abroad is necessary. In 2019, 64 and 36 destinations, respectively, met these requirements. However, in many countries the sample size exceeded 75 or even 100 participants by far. In the USA, for example, over 1,400 expats participated in the Expat Insider 2019 survey.  

For the rankings themselves, participants were asked to rate up to 48 different factors concerning various aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasizes the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these factors and considered both emotional topics (e.g. friendliness of the local population) as well as more factual aspects (e.g. affordability of healthcare) with equal weight. The respondents’ ratings of the individual factors were bundled in various combinations for a total of 17 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up the five topical indices listed above.  

The five indices, as well as the responses to the question “How satisfied are you with life abroad in general?”, were then averaged to arrive at the overall country ranking. The Cost of Living Index, while providing some insight into expats’ perception of living expenses in their current home, does not factor into the overall ranking. 

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