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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Mexico Is the Best Country for Expats (Again)

Expats in Mexico enjoy a great social life and an affordable lifestyle, which makes the country the most popular destination worldwide.

Mexico comes 1st out of 53 destinations in the Expat Insider 2023 survey. This might not come as a surprise, as the country has ranked in the top 5 since the first survey was conducted in 2014. Mexico lands in 1st place of the Ease of Settling In Index, with expats feeling at home there (2nd). This outstanding result is followed closely by the Personal Finance Index (2nd), which highlights a great financial situation (1st). While Mexico has ups and downs in both the Quality of Life (26th) and the Working Abroad (22nd) Indices, it shows a strong performance for Expat Essentials (12th). Overall, 90% of expats are happy with their life in Mexico, compared to 72% globally.  

“If you are willing to learn the language and adapt to the local culture, this is the best country to live and work in.” – Dutch expat 

A Place to Make Friends Easily 

Throughout the 10 years of the Expat Insider survey, Mexico has always ranked among the best in the Ease of Settling In Index (1st in 2023). This also holds true for all its subcategories and rating factors. Expats have consistently enjoyed the Local Friendliness (1st): most find the local residents to be friendly in general (91% vs. 67% globally) and towards foreign residents in particular (89% vs. 65% globally).  

Finding Friends (2nd) is also no problem. About three in four expats (74%) say that it is easy to make local friends, compared to only 43% globally. This is probably one reason why expats in Mexico have a personal support network (2nd) and are very happy with their social lives overall (4th). Mexico secures another 1st place in the Culture & Welcome Subcategory. Expats feel both welcome (89% vs. 67% globally) and at home (82% vs. 62% globally) there. They also report that it is easy to get used to the Mexican culture (1st).  

“Mexico is a very happy country. The people are helpful and friendly, and they celebrate everything!” – Expat from New Zealand 

The Trouble-Free Basics of Life Abroad 

The country has another strong performance in the Expat Essentials Index (12th). About three in four (74%) had no trouble getting a visa to move there, compared to 57% globally. They also report that learning Spanish is easy (9th), which seems to pay off: “I’ve learned to speak Spanish, and the locals really appreciate it!” shares a US American expat. And while expats struggle with the inability to pay without cash (49th), Housing (6th) is no problem. Expats say that accommodation in Mexico is not only easy to find, but also affordable (7th for both).  

Budget-Friendly Living 

Affordability is a general trend in Mexico. Mexico ranks 2nd in the Personal Finance Index — only Vietnam (1st) performs better. Most expats (87%) say that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life in Mexico (vs. 73% globally). Another 71% are happy with the general cost of living, compared to only 44% globally. Overall, 80% are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 58% globally), with the country ranking 1st for this factor. “The affordable cost of living makes being here much more enjoyable in general,” an expat from the USA explains. 

A Satisfying Work Life 

Mexico has positive results in the overall Working Abroad Index (22nd). Expats are especially happy with their personal career opportunities (4th), fair pay (5th), and work-life balance (7th). Most expats (87%) see a purpose in their work (vs. 78% globally), and 71% are satisfied with their jobs in general (vs. 64% globally).  

Problems with Safety 

The Quality of Life Index (26th) reveals rather mixed results. On the negative side, Mexico only ranks 45th for political stability, and 18% of expats do not feel safe there, more than double the global average (8%). The lack of a high-quality infrastructure for cars (44th) is another problem, as well as the lack of policies to protect the environment (49th).  

On the positive side, Mexico’s Leisure Options (2nd) are among the best worldwide. The country ranks 1st for its culinary variety and dining options, as well as 3rd for its culture and nightlife. And expats can have all of this while enjoying the wonderful climate and weather (5th).  

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