The recently published Global Expat Index 2019 report ranks the top countries for expats to relocate to around the world.
There are countless reasons to travel internationally—meeting new people, tasting unfamiliar cuisines, and taking in fresh sights, to name a few. Any amount of time spent abroad can bring a host of worldview-expanding experiences your way, but actually living abroad? Well, that turns up the notch exponentially.
The cheap flight–booking service Globehunters recently published a Global Expat Index that analyzed the best countries around the world to live in as an expat. To source information for the index, the study analyzed 11 unique categories, including average income, employment rate, cost of living, health expenditure, safety, migrant acceptance, and cost of childcare.
The 34 global nations studied—including the United States, Germany, and Australia—then received a score on a scale of one to 10 in each individual category before the numbers were combined to create an overall average index ranking. All of the countries looked at for this index belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which works to shape international economic policies that promote well-being for citizens. (There are 36 OECD countries, but Turkey and Luxembourg were omitted from the study due to a lack of data.)
According to findings from this year’s Global Expat Index, the world’s best country to live abroad in is . . . Iceland.
The small island nation scored the top spot in the safety and migrant acceptance categories and fell second to Switzerland in average annual income and to Japan in life expectancy. It ranked fifth for its monthly cost of childcare and came in fourth place for employment rates and happiness, the latter of which was sourced from the 2019 World Happiness Report, produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. (As we reported when that index was published earlier this year, Finland topped the list for happiness—followed closely by Denmark, Norway, and Iceland.)
Close runners-up were Austria, Canada, and New Zealand: None of these countries had the top score in any of the survey’s 11 categories, but all showcased high rankings for safety, happiness, migrant acceptance, and expat population.
For the full list of the best countries in the world for expats, see Globetrotter’s Global Expat Index 2019.