updated 10:30 AM CEST, Sep 19, 2019

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Expat Insider Survey: Cross-section of expats ranks U.S. 47th out of 64 destinations in which to be a resident foreigner

A survey of more than 20,000 expats of various nationalities has found that the U.S. ranks surprisingly low – in 47th place out of 64 – as a country in which to be a resident foreigner.

The survey, carried out for the sixth year in a row by the global expat group known as InterNations, found the U.S. ranked "among the worst countries for family life (32nd out of 36), but among the best for career prospects (fifth, out of 64) and digital life (seventh out of 64)."

Even lower, in 58th place, is the UK – just above India and below Greece. The reason, according to InterNations, is "ongoing Brexit uncertainty".

"It has fallen 14 places [in the ranking] in terms of political stability, now ranking among the ten worst countries in the world for this factor (57th)," a summary of the report's findings, published this week, noted. 

"[More than] two in five expats (42%) rate the political stability [in the UK] negatively, vrs. 17% globally.

"As one German expat puts it: "Brexit makes our future uncertain."

The UK also does badly ("receives its worst ratings ever") in all the sub-categories of the survey's Working Abroad index, coming in at 45th for economy and job security, "which is 29 places lower than in the Expat Insider 2016 survey before the Brexit referendum, [when it was] 16th out of 67."

As for the "best" destinations in which to live as an expat, the survey's respondents named Taiwan first, followed in descending order by Vietnam, Portugal, Mexico, Spain and Singapore. These countries "attract expats with their ease of settling in and good personal finances," the InterNations summary of its survey findings notes. 

"While expats in Taiwan and Portugal are also extremely satisfied with the quality of life, those in Vietnam appreciate their great work life."

At the other end of the ranking, meanwhile, were Kuwait, which came in at the bottom (64th place (64th out of 64), Italy, Nigeria and Brazil (see table, below).

The reasons given, according to the results summary, were that expats find Kuwait "hardest to settle in", Italy "offers the worst work life", and Nigeria has "the worst quality of life in the world."

To read and download the survey from the InterNations' website, click here.  

InterNations survey results 2019