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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Enjoying the High Quality of Life in Taiwan

In Taiwan, expats are particularly happy with the high quality of life, the ease of settling in, and their personal finances.

Taiwan does best in the Quality of Life Index (2nd), only beaten by Spain, and makes it into the top 10 for many related factors. The Health & Well-Being Subcategory is a particular highlight since Taiwan ranks first overall and first for all its factors. Expats find healthcare affordable (100% vs. 61% globally) and widely available (98% vs. 73% globally), and 88% say that they have access to all the healthcare services they need (vs. 67% globally).

Beyond that, Taiwan ranks first in the world for personal safety. While nearly all expats (98%) feel generally safe there (vs. 81% globally), 84% even feel completely safe in Taiwan, compared to 47% globally.

Lots to Do & Easy to Get There

Travel & Transit (7th) is another highlight about life in Taiwan. Expats describe public transportation as affordable (94% vs. 70% globally) and easily available (90% vs. 73% globally). The vast majority of expats (90%) also finds it easy and safe to get around on foot and/or bicycle (vs. 77% globally). “I enjoy living in a beautiful place with world-class infrastructure and services,” shares a British expat.

In fact, while not among the top 10, Taiwan still lands in a good 16th place in the Leisure Options Subcategory. More than four in five expats (82%) enjoy the culinary variety and dining options (vs. 77% globally). They are also happy with the culture and nightlife (66% vs. 67% globally) and the opportunities for recreational sports (73% vs. 75% globally).

According to 75% of expats, green goods and services — such as renewable energy, organic food, and sustainable products — are easily available in Taiwan (vs. 64% globally). Despite this, Taiwan ranks only 21st in the Environment & Climate Subcategory, which is mainly due to the low air quality (41st). More than three in ten expats (31%) are unhappy with this factor, compared to 19% globally.

Feeling Welcome

Expats find it very easy to get settled in Taiwan, ranking the destination sixth in this index. More than three-quarters (78%) feel welcome there (vs. 66% globally), and 53% even feel completely welcome (vs. 30% globally). It is easy to make local friends (50% vs. 42% globally), and most expats have a personal support network (67% vs. 59% globally). In fact, one-quarter of expats (25%) are mainly friends with local residents (vs. 17% globally).

“I am happy that I can experience life in Taiwan with the warm-hearted friends I made here,” shares an expat from Vietnam. More than four in five expats (84%) describe the local residents as generally friendly (vs. 66% globally), and 53% even find them very friendly (vs. 30% globally).

Satisfying Salaries — Affordable Lifestyle

While Taiwan only comes 22nd in the Working Abroad Index, it gets another top ranking for one of its factors: 85% of expats feel paid fairly for their work (based on industry, qualifications, role, etc.), compared to 62% globally. This also might explain why they are satisfied with their financial situation (70% vs. 60% globally), and 55% state that their disposable household income is enough to lead a comfortable life (vs. 45% globally). “It is less expensive here to enjoy a high-quality, modern standard of living, including healthcare, fitness, food, and so on,” shares a US American expat.

Missing Flexibility, Creativity & Independence

However, working in Taiwan also has its downsides. The destination ranks 39th in the Work Culture & Satisfaction Subcategory and even ends up among the bottom 10 when it comes to flexibility at work (47th). More than two in five expats (41%) say that the local business culture does not support flexibility, such as remote work or flexible working hours, compared to 19% globally. Furthermore, it neither encourages creativity (41% unhappy vs. 26% globally) nor does it promote independent work and/or flat hierarchies (46% unhappy vs. 28% globally). Overall, 15% of expats do not see a purpose in their work (vs. 9% globally), and 19% are generally dissatisfied with their jobs (vs. 16% globally).

Easy to Handle Admin Tasks Online

Lastly, Taiwan lands in a mediocre 23rd place in the Expat Essentials Index, receiving its best results in the Digital Life Subcategory (15th). It does rank among the top 5 worldwide for the ease of getting high-speed internet access at home (4th) and the unrestricted access to online services (3rd). What is more, 63% are happy with the availability of administrative/government services online, which is just slightly above the global average (61%). On the other hand, Taiwan lands among the bottom 10 for the ease of paying without cash (43rd). While 79% are still happy with this factor, this share is below the global average of 84%.

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