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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Indonesia Makes It Easy to Settled In & Feel at Home

Expats in Indonesia find it easy to get settled in but are unhappy with the low quality of life.

Overall, Indonesia ranks second in the Expat Insider 2022 survey and performs best in the Ease of Settling In Index (2nd): 90% of expats describe the Indonesian population as friendly in general (vs. 66% globally), as well as friendly towards foreign residents in particular (vs. 65% globally). Close to half (46%) even think that they could not be any friendlier to expats, compared to 27% globally. With a strong personal support network (66% happy vs. 59% globally) and a great social life (77% happy vs. 56% globally), 80% of expats feel at home in Indonesia (vs. 62% globally).

Housing & Language Are No Issue

The country’s great performance in the Expat Essentials Index (6th) is mainly due to two aspects: First, while only 49% find it easy to live in Indonesia without speaking the local language, which is just about average (51%), 73% say it is easy to learn (vs. 41% globally). In fact, 53% speak the local language very or fairly well. Second, housing is easy to find (84% vs. 54% globally) and to afford (74% vs. 39% globally). Beyond housing, 73% of expats are happy with the general cost of living (vs. 45% globally), and 64% say that their disposable household income is more than enough to lead a comfortable life (vs. 45% globally). “It is a great opportunity to save due to the low living expenses,” shares an expat from South Korea.

Local Bureaucracy Is Tough

However, the country’s performance is just mediocre when it comes to Admin Topics (30th). This is mainly due to the local bureaucracy and authorities, which 57% of expats find it hard to deal with (vs. 39% globally). The Digital Life Subcategory (42nd) is also not one of Indonesia’s strongest assets: one in ten expats (10%) is unhappy with the restricted access to online services (vs. 7% globally), and 25% rate the availability of administrative services online negatively (vs. 21% globally).

High Job Satisfaction

Working life seems to be laid back in Indonesia, which ranks twelfth worldwide in the Work & Leisure Subcategory. More than seven in ten (72%) are happy with their working hours (vs. 63% globally), and 62% rate their work-life balance positively. While the latter matches the global average, the share of those who are completely satisfied with their work-life balance is a lot higher (36% vs. 25% globally). Overall, 78% of expats are satisfied with their job in general (vs. 64% globally), making Indonesia the world's best country for this factor.

Improvable Working Conditions

However, around one in three expats (32%) are unhappy with the local job market, compared to 27% globally. And while 71% feel that they are paid fairly (vs. 62% globally), many aspects of a modern business culture seem to be lacking: according to expats, the local business culture neither encourages creativity (30% unhappy vs. 26% globally) nor supports flexibility (23% unhappy vs. 19% globally). More than two in five (42%) believe that it does not promote independent work and/or flat hierarchies either (vs. 28% globally).

Limited Access to Healthcare

Indonesia’s real weak spot is the Quality of Life Index (41st), particularly when it comes to Health & Well-Being (48th): just 60% of expats rate the availability of healthcare positively (vs. 73% globally), and an even lower share (54%) find it easy to access all the healthcare services they need (vs. 67% globally). Overall, 28% are unhappy with the quality of medical care, which is twice the global average (14%). “The quality of healthcare services is low,” a South Korean expat shares.

When it comes to the Environment & Climate Subcategory (42nd), 35% of expats find it hard to get green goods and services (vs. 17% globally). They are also unhappy with the urban environment (36% unhappy vs. 17% globally) and the air quality (33% unhappy vs. 19% globally).

Many Leisure Options but Hard to Get Around

While 88% enjoy the opportunity to travel (vs. 82% globally), the local infrastructure poses some challenges. Expats rate the infrastructure for cars negatively (40% unhappy vs. 13% globally), but neither do they find it easy and safe to get around on foot and/or by bicycle (27% unhappy vs. 13% globally). While more than two in five (42%) rate the availability of public transportation negatively (vs. 17% globally), a slightly above-average share finds it at least affordable (73% vs. 70% globally).

According to the respondents, Indonesia has a lot of Leisure Options (12th) to offer. While the opportunities for recreational sports are average (75% happy vs. 75% globally), 70% of expats are happy with the culture and nightlife (vs. 67% globally). Lastly, more than four in five (84%) rate the culinary variety and dining options positively (vs. 77% globally).

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