Bahrain named top location for expats

Bahrain has topped the annual Expat Insider ranking for the second year running.

The annual survey carried out by networking website InterNations, quizzed over 18,000 expats worldwide regarding their happiness with their new lives in their adopted home country.

The Gulf State of Bahrain scored first place among both male and female respondents, generally doing well across most topics.

Many respondents in Bahrain give their working hours (44 per cent), job security (33 per cent), or overall job satisfaction (39 per cent) the best possible rating, helping to keep the Gulf state at the top of the rankings.

Most respondents had few problems communicating even without local language skills, and the locals were widely considered to be friendly and welcoming.

While not on the podium in the Family Life Index, Bahrain still ranks 7th out of 50 countries.

Taiwan ranked second out of the 68 destinations considered. It topped the chart for quality of life, with a staggering 96 per cent of respondents rating the affordability of healthcare positively,

After ranking 25th out of 65 countries in 2017, Ecuador placed third. Ecuador has impressive results regarding finances (4th), getting settled (8th), and even work (11th), though a large percentage of the Bahrain World Trade Centerrespondents are actually retirees (46 per cent).

Among the global top 10, there are some interesting geographical clusters. The Asian Tigers Taiwan (2nd) and Singapore (5th) make it into the top 5, while neighboring Portugal (6th) and Spain (8th) show very similar results, too.

Four of the top 10 countries are also located in Latin America: Ecuador (3rd), Mexico (4th), Costa Rica (7th), and Colombia (9th). They do well in terms of settling in, with all of them scoring top 10 positions in this index.

There has been comparatively little change at the bottom of the ranking. Seven out of the ten worst-rated countries were already in the bottom 10 in 2017, as was Egypt (63rd in 2018) whenever it was featured in the ranking. Losing ground across all indices, Peru is new in the bottom 10. The United Kingdom continues its downward trend: after an already noticeable drop in 2017, it comes in 59th place in 2018.

Kuwait (68th) is back in last place, a position it already held from 2014 to 2016, while it came second to last in 2017, just before Greece. While the latter has recovered slightly (60th), Kuwait ranks last for quality of life, ease of settling in, and general satisfaction with life abroad. It is also in the bottom 5 of the Working Abroad and Family Life Indices, with a slightly better, albeit below-average, result for personal finance (50th).

Saudi Arabia has also been in the bottom 10 since 2014, ranking 67th in 2018. It lands in the bottom 5 of all indices featured in the ranking, except for personal finance, where it comes in an above-average 31st place: three in five expats agree that their disposable household income is more than they need to cover costs. Their general satisfaction with life in the country, however, is much lower, with 40 per cent rating it negatively.

Top ten locations for expats

  1. Bahrain
  2. Taiwan
  3. Ecuador
  4. Mexico
  5. Singapore
  6. Portugal
  7. Costa Rica
  8. Spain
  9. Colombia
  10. Czech Republic

Bottom ten locations for expats

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Greece
  3. Italy
  4. Peru
  5. Egypt
  6. Turkey
  7. Brazil
  8. India
  9. Saudi Arabia
  10. Kuwait

Article published 11th September 2018