Latin America


Ecuador Tops New Global Expat Survey

by Ray Clancy on March 9, 2015

Ecuador, Luxembourg and Mexico have been named as top locations for expats, with each having very different reasons for being named as great places to live.

Ecuador comes top of the most recent expat survey from Inter Nations. It ranks first in terms of personal finance and high in terms of settling in to a new life. Some 82% of expats surveyed said that they found it easy to feel at home in Ecuador.

southAMERICAflags200However, Ecuador has a less than average result when it comes to language difficulties. Some 37% found it is very difficult to live in this country without speaking Spanish but 30% found it easy to learn.

Ecuador also came in first place for personal happiness with 85% satisfied with their relationship and 44% said they were very happy with their lives in general while 42% intend to have a long stay, possibly forever.

Although Ecuador ranks fifth in the working abroad section, not many expats relocate to this country for work purposes. Ecuador has a high percentage of retirees at 39% and the average age of expats in Ecuador is 52.8, well above the global average of 39.5.

In contrast Luxembourg is regarded as a place for career expats. The small, land locked European country ranks second overall in the expat survey, primarily due to its second place ranking in the working abroad section.

Some 64% said that career opportunities, whether they found a job themselves, were sent by their employer, or were recruited, to be the most important reason for their move abroad. Two in five even found a job in Luxembourg on their own, a higher percentage than for any other country in the survey.

However, only 28% want to stay in Luxembourg for the long term and 21% plan to complete an assignment of one to three years and while Luxembourg may be a good place to advance in career terms, this alone does not apparently equal overall contentment. Luxembourg only comes in 50th out of 61 countries in the category personal happiness. Despite this, 89% say that they are satisfied with expat life in Luxembourg.

Also, while Luxembourg provides an above average infrastructure for travel and transport, as well as health and safety, the country only ranks 32nd out of 61 when it comes to the ease of settling in. Expats find it especially hard to make friends here, contributing to its ranking of 46th in this category. Only 9% report that it is very easy to make local friends.

Mexico, in third place overall, is the clear winner in the ease of settling in section also 91% of expats said they are pleased with their life, the same percentage as for the overall winner, Ecuador. Another measure of satisfaction is the high number of expats, 44%, that would like to stay forever.

The survey found that 28% moved to Mexico for a job while 19% listed love as their main motivation for moving. They either moved in order to join their partner in Mexico or moved along with them.

Mexico was the lowest of our top three countries in the working abroad section, coming in at 25th place out of 61. The lowest ranking was in the subcategory job security. On top of this, while Mexico ranks fourth for personal happiness only 61% are satisfied with Mexico’s transportation infrastructure and only 62% are pleased with their level of personal safety.

The bottom three are named as Greece, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The economic crisis in Greece has affected its position, coming last place in the job and career category and the lowest score for job security by a large margin. Greece also came last in the personal finance section.

Saudi Arabia comes 60th mainly due to the country’s poor results in the quality of l section. It comes last for leisure activities and 54% of participants said they are dissatisfied with the availability of leisure activities in the country.

Kuwait ranks last in the overall country ranking due to its low results for personal happiness and in the ease of settling in section. Expats in Kuwait do not think it is easy to settle down there, make friends, or feel at home. Only 5% of survey participants felt completely at home there, and only 7% found it very easy to make local friends.

 

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