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Where Expats Love to Work Abroad in 2015

Munich, 20 Oct 2015
Malta attracts IT professionals and Norway entices with its favorable work-life balance, while expats in Luxembourg enjoy excellent job security

Munich, 20 October 2015 — In its latest global survey about expat living, InterNations, the world’s leading social network and information site for people who live and work abroad, presents Malta, Norway and Luxembourg as ideal destinations for those who are looking for a job abroad. Expats in Italy, Portugal and Greece, on the other hand, are lacking promising career choices and job security. Moreover, expats in Greece are suffering from a bad work-life balance. From a global perspective, it is expats over 50 who are happiest with their work life, closely followed by workers in their early thirties.

Best and Worst Career Destinations

Malta ranks first in the Expat Insider 2015 survey for overall job satisfaction, with seven in ten expats generally satisfied and 27 percent even completely satisfied, compared to a global average of only 16 percent. In terms of career prospects, only the USA and the United Kingdom rank higher. Other popular destinations for those in the search of an interesting job and good career opportunities are China, Mozambique, Luxembourg and Poland. The lower end of the Job & Career ranking is dominated by European countries: Out of 64 countries overall, Italy, Portugal and Greece — all of them suffering economically — offer the least favorable job opportunities for foreign residents.

Work-Life Balance around the World

Sweden, Norway and Malta occupy the top ranks when it comes to work-life balance, while Saudi Arabia, India and Kuwait are at the bottom. Expats in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, as well as Malta, are also the most satisfied with their working hours, whilst those in Turkey, Greece, and Chile are the least happy with this aspect.

Founder and Co-CEO of InterNations Malte Zeeck explains: “Finding the perfect balance between work and life can prove to be an ordeal for many expats. Countries such as Norway, Finland or Denmark provide ideal conditions for expats with the world’s shortest working weeks of about 40 hours. At the other end of our rankings, foreign residents in Uganda, Nigeria, the Philippines and Panama are working up to ten more hours per week than their counterparts in Scandinavia.”

A Typical Expat Work Week

According to InterNations, the average expat works a 42-hour week, with 86 percent in full-time and 14 percent in part-time positions. While the global average of 31-year-old to 35-year-old expats working full-time remains as high as 91 percent, there is a huge dip in the number of those above the age of 50, with 79 percent of them working full-time.

“We see a shift towards part-time work in this age group, and therefore a slight reduction in the number of weekly working hours to 41 hours among the respondents who are aged 51 or older”, says Zeeck.

Foreign assignees work the most, with 46.1 hours per week, followed by foreign recruitees (44.7 hours) and career-oriented expats (44.1 hours). Traveling spouses, on the other hand, only have a 34.6-hour workweek, which is not surprising considering that 39 percent of them work part-time. Expat parents only spend slightly less time at work than expats without children: expat dads still work 45.7 hours per week in full-time positions, and 26.1 hours if they have a part-time job. On average, expat moms work less with 43.1 hours in full-time positions or 22.9 hours part-time. Even among the general survey population, men work slightly longer hours than women (44.2 vs. 39.7 hours). They are also a lot less likely to work part-time than women, with 90 percent of men working full-time compared to 82 percent of women.

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About the Working Abroad Index

The Working Abroad Index ranks countries according to various factors from three different areas: job and career, work-life balance, and job security. In total, 64 countries are included in this index. In order to be included, the minimum sample size in the ranking is 50 respondents, although nearly 40 countries had a sample size of over 100. Questions were rated on a scale of one to seven.

About InterNations

With more than 4.1 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, in our company blog, or in our magazine.

Press Contact

Caroline Harsch
Public Relations
InterNations GmbH
Schwanthalerstrasse 39
80336 Munich, Germany

Contact Us

Caroline Harsch
Media spokesperson
Country-specific versions are available in different languages in the download section at the end of each press release and upon request.