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English Escapes: The Top 5 English-Speaking Countries

Munich, 30 January 2017
Malta, New Zealand, and Australia are the most popular English-speaking destinations for expats, beating the US and UK.

Munich, 30 January 2017 — As many English-speaking citizens may be considering a move abroad these days, InterNations (, the world’s largest network for people who live and work abroad, has compiled a ranking of the top five English-speaking countries for those who are looking to escape from an uncertain future in their country of origin. According to the Expat Insider, one of the largest surveys on life abroad, those who are looking to leave their home country but want to stay in an English-speaking environment have a range of options to choose from. Mediterranean island nation Malta is the highest-ranked Anglophone escape, and is especially popular among sun loving Brits. On the other hand, the great work-life balance that New Zealand has to offer, seems to draw many American expats there, making it the English-speaking destination with the highest percentage of US citizens among the local expat population. Australia is the best English-speaking country for those wanting to relocate with their families and Canada satisfies with affordable healthcare. Those seeking political stability and peacefulness will find a safe haven in Singapore.

Top 5 English-Speaking Destinations for Expats

The ranking of the most popular English-speaking destinations for moving abroad is taken from a global survey with responses from more than 14,000 expats around the world. Apart from the ease of settling in, factors such as the financial and political situation and the friendliness of the local population towards foreigners were also considered when compiling the ranking.

Malta comes in first as the top English-speaking destination for expats. In fact, the island-state does exceptionally well in almost every survey category . It has the highest rank among Anglophone countries for the quality of life, ease of settling in, and personal finance. Almost all expats in Malta are pleased with their choice of destination: 90 percent of survey respondents agree that they are happy with their life and 38 percent even say that they are very happy, twice the global average of 19 percent. The weather may have something to do with their satisfaction: every single respondent in Malta rates the climate and weather positively, and 92 percent already considered this a possible advantage even before moving there. The agreeable climate seems to be a big draw for Brits in search of sunnier shores: almost one-third of the expat population in Malta has British citizenship (28 percent).

New Zealand finds itself in second place when it comes to Anglophone expat destinations, but it takes the top spot among these countries when it comes to working abroad. Those seeking a better work-life balance may want to consider the land of the Kiwis: 79 percent of expats there say they are satisfied with this factor, notably higher than the global average of 60 percent. Out of the English-speaking countries, New Zealand has the shortest full-time work week with an average of 42.2 hours. Work-life balance is not the only thing that New Zealand excels at: an astounding 95 percent of expats there rate the quality of the environment positively, significantly higher than the global average of 67 percent. Distance to their home country, on the other hand, was seen as a possible disadvantage of moving to New Zealand by 61 percent of expats. Nevertheless, it is an especially popular destination among US Americans, with 15 percent of local expats originally hailing from the USA.

Australia is known for its hospitality and expats agree: 82 percent rate the general friendliness of the population positively. The friendly attitude towards families with children is even higher at 92 percent, compared to a global average of 80 percent. According to the InterNations Expat Insider survey, Australia is in fact the best English-speaking country to move to with a family; not a single respondent there rated the available leisure activities for kids negatively.

Canada is a popular destination for those seeking a better quality of life: this was the number one reason expats gave for relocating to the Great White North. Once they have arrived, expats seem particularly satisfied with the affordability of Canadian healthcare: 37 percent even rate it as very good, in comparison to the 21 percent global average. Expat parents in Canada need not be concerned about the health of their children either: an overwhelming 90 percent of respondents rate this factor positively. When it comes to the peacefulness of the country, not a single respondent gives a negative rating.

Singapore is the place to go for those in search of political stability and personal safety. A notable 56 percent of expats there say the political stability of the country is very good, more than double the global average of 25 percent. When it comes to personal safety, 100 percent of expats surveyed gave it a positive ranking. This helps Singapore clinch second place for the best quality of life for expats in English-speaking countries. The state of the economy is another draw for this Asian destination: 86 percent of expats rate this positively, in contrast to the 56 percent global average.

Hong Kong and South Africa: Plan B Escapes

Hong Kong is known for its high cost of living, so expats on a budget might want to think twice: 72 percent of expats rate this factor negatively, more than double the global average of 32 percent. In fact, 53 percent of expats living in Hong Kong already considered this a possible disadvantage of relocating  before they made the move, more than double the global average of 24 percent who shared their concern. Housing prices are exorbitant: an overwhelming 90 percent rate this negatively and 53 percent gave it the worst possible rating. Expats are also disappointed with the quality of the environment with 57 percent giving it a poor rating, as opposed to the 20 percent global average.

South Africa may not be the best option for those concerned with their personal safety: 63 percent rated this factor negatively, which is significantly higher than the 12 percent global average. Other concerning factors are that more than half of the respondents rate the political stability of the country negatively (51 percent) and more than a third (37 percent) do not consider the country very peaceful,  more than double the global average in both cases. At least respondents can agree on some aspects: nine out of ten like the climate and weather, and are happy with the available leisure activities in South Africa (89 and 88 percent, respectively).

About InterNations

With more than 5.3 million members in 420 cities around the world, InterNations is the largest global community and a source of information for people who live and work abroad. InterNations offers global and local networking and socializing, both online and face to face. At around 6,000 events and activities per month, expatriates have the opportunity to meet other global minds. Online services include discussion forums and helpful articles with personal expat experiences, tips, and information about life abroad. Membership is by approval only to ensure we remain a community of trust. InterNations is part of the New Work SE, a group of brands that offer products and services for a better working life.

Find more information about InterNations on our press page or in our magazine.

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