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The 61 Top Expat Countries Worldwide

Posted in: Where to Live

top expat countries

So, where are the top expat countries?

What is the best country for expats?

It can be a little hard to sort through all the options. Especially given that there are almost 200 countries in the world today. (Current count is between 195-196 depending on if Taiwan is counted).

Our readers frequently tell us that choosing a country is one of the hardest decisions they face, in becoming an expat.

In this post, I’ll share data from Internations listing the top 61 expat countries. This is data from their online expat community.

Top Expat Countries (61 Best Destinations)

Here are the top expat countries according to Internations {click image to enlarge}

Top Expat Countries

Image copyright Internations {click image to enlarge}

61 Top Expat Destination Countries

Note: some of the product links in this post are affiliate links to Amazon. If you click and purchase one of these titles, we may make a small commission. The other links are to related expat profiles in each of the countries. 

  1. Ecuador: I was surprised to see this at the top of the list. While we’ve lived here for more than five years (and love it) there are other countries that have more luxuries – and might be easier for expats to adapt to. Ecuador is frequently listed as a top expat country. Here are 15 stories of expats living in Ecuador. Read more at InsideEcuador.Salinas Ecuador
  2. Luxembourg: is a tiny country in Western Europe with a population of just 543,000. Read a first person account of an expat in Luxembourg or learn more about the country in general.
  3. Mexico: Without a doubt, almost every expat considers moving to Mexico. Check out this book that interviews 10 expats in Mexico. Read our detailed cost of living comparison between San Miguel or Cuernavaca Mexico.
  4. Switzerland: Learn more about Switzerland with Rick Steves or check out the book: Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known
  5. USA: I guess not many of us Canadians / Americans think of the US as an expat destination. But, of course, it is. There are almost no resources that I could find (in English) for expats moving to the States.
  6. Singapore: Read a couple of Expat Life Profiles from Singapore: Jeffrey and Flora and the Vagabond Kids. Check out Lonely Planet’s best selling Singapore guide.
  7. Spain: This is a popular country for British and American families and couples. Read the Moon guide to Living Abroad in Spain.
    InterNations.org
  8. Philippines: Get a quick introduction to retiring in the Philippines with this free Kindle book. Learn more about Filipino culture and travel.
  9. Australia:
  10. Hong Kong:
  11. Costa Rica: This country was certainly on our radar as we sorted though the country choices. Read about Erin Morris’ expat life (pictured below). The following books may help you plan your move to Costa Rica: Becoming an Expat Costa Rica and Retire Overseas! Costa Rica EditionErin-Morris-Alajuela-Costa-Rica-Expat
  12. Germany:
  13. South Korea:
  14. Canada: Canada is our home country – and we miss lots of stuff. Things like fish and chips and Cows ice cream on the Halifax waterfront. We also experienced culture shock when we returned home the first time. Read about some British expats living in Canada for the past three years. Canada expat living
  15. Poland:
  16. New Zealand:
  17. Czech Republic:
  18. Norway:
  19. Austria:
  20. Indonesia:
  21. United Kingdom:
  22. Thailand: This is very popular with expats and backpackers. There seems to be a high concentration of young expats – singles and couples. Read a detailed cost of living comparison: Myanmar vs Thailand. Check out this expat book: Becoming an expat: Thailand
  23. Netherlands: It 
  24. Panama: If you are considering Panama, you should check out The Gringo Guide to Panama: What to Know Before You Go It is one of the top selling books about Panama and is highly rated.
  25. Malaysia:
  26. Vietnam: Read about the expat cost of living in Vietnam. For more about the area, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Vietnam and Angkor WatRebekah Voss Hoi An Vietnam
  27. Colombia:
  28. Hungary:
  29. Belgium: 
  30. Oman: is located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Learn the basics of customs and culture in Oman: Culture Smart! Read about the expat cost of living in Muscat, Oman: American expat Carrie Brummer.cost of living muscat oman
  31. Peru:
  32. Denmark:
  33. UAE:
  34. Sweden:
  35. Kazakhstan:
  36. Chile:
  37. Kenya:
  38. China: It’s on our daughters bucket list, so I guess it’s on ours too. Read a Canadians experience of living in China for six years. Check out this book: Expat in China: A Family Adventure
  39. Cyprus:
  40. France:
  41. Portugal:
  42. Brazil: is the largest country in both South America and in all of Latin America. It has a population of more than 200 million. Expat book: Reality Check Life in Brazil thought the eyes of a foreigner.
  43. Ireland:
  44. South Africa:
  45. Senegal:
  46. Argentina:
  47. Japan:
  48. Bahrain:
  49. Turkey:
  50. Israel:
  51. Uganda:
  52. Egypt:
  53. Italy: I would be lying if I said I never thought about moving to Italy. It is at the top of our Europe bucket list, especially the western coast. This book looks promising for hitting the high points of  Italy: 100 Locals Tell You Where to Go, What to Eat, and How to Fit In
  54. Russia:
  55. India:
  56. Nigeria:
  57. Ghana:
  58. Qatar:
  59. Greece:
  60. Saudi Arabi:
  61. Kuwait:

The Top Expat Country For You

Choosing the country you will relocate to is not easy. We researched countless hours before we settled on Ecuador.

To help you, we’ve put a listing of the best expat books. This is a big set with specific reviews and direct links to Amazon. As we planned our relocation, we bought a lot of books. It helped us make good decisions and have realistic expectations. Check them out: 17 Best Expat Books for a Successful Relocation

Moving as a family? You should check out our book: Expat Family Handbook


InterNations.org

Your Turn

What country (countries) are you considering? What are your criteria for a new country? See you in the comments!

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

11 comments… add one
  • Ewaldt janssen Jun 5, 2016, 6:06 am

    I am looking at taking a job in Jordan, any comments as I see it is not listed in the top 61 above.

    Will appreciate any feedback

    Regards

  • Bali Wellness Retreat & Bali Yoga Travel Aug 10, 2015, 9:11 pm

    We also wondered about Ecuador, but with the current president, it would be wise to take precautions before investing.

    Same goes for Indonesia, laws are changing fast, without any forewarning. Making it more difficult for foreigners to invest safely or even being able to work.

  • Dominic Jan 28, 2015, 5:51 am

    Wow, I really thought UAE would be closer to the top 10! I would really be lying if I never thought about moving to South Africa, especially Cape Town!

  • Douglas Hakes Dec 4, 2014, 9:23 am

    A very interesting list. Some countries surprise me that they are even on the list and others surprise me at their ranking. I keep hearing that people expat because their home country is getting too regulated and yet I see Russia and China on your list. I guess each to to their own. I’ve thought about expating for years now and the notion I have stuck in my head isn’t necessarily being catered to as the rich Americano but a nice quiet place among’st nice people. A friend of mine in England did a weekend in Devonshire and I could easily imagine myself having breakfast in an English garden, overlooking the Atlantic. Coffee instead of tea. Don’t ask me where the breakfast comes from. I noticed, though, that none of the UK is on the list. My question is : why might that be?

    • Bryan Haines Dec 4, 2014, 10:35 am

      You’re right. This list is an interesting one. It is based on information from Internations community of expats.

      Here in Ecuador, there are many Americans who moved either to escape politics or high cost of living. But there are many more that moved for culture, language, friends and a different way of life.

      Regarding your question, it might be that the expats / immigrants in the UK are not members of these online communities that create these reports.

  • Dave Short Nov 11, 2014, 7:34 pm

    GREAT POST,I LOVED IT

  • Rebekah Voss Nov 10, 2014, 7:21 am

    Great list!! I was surprised and excited to see Luxembourg as #2, that’s a dream destination I’ve always considered too expensive for me. But there must be a reason expats are flocking there!!

    • Jakob Nov 23, 2014, 7:32 pm

      Luxembourg has the highest per capita income in Europe and one of the highest in the world, higher than Switzerland. I assume that most of the moves there are linked to a job offer.

  • Alan S. Jones Nov 9, 2014, 8:30 am

    Hi,
    I spent three months travelling in Ecuador this year, and am sure I will go back there, possibly to live. I met my future partner/bride there, in Quito, and she took me around the country. I was in the Amazon jungle for three weeks, staying in a wooden cabin near Puyo. My favourite places were Vilcabamba and Cotacachi. I enjoyed my stay in Cuenca also. I am British and live in Spain but feel ready to move out of Europe, which is getting over-regulated.
    Zulmy will be coming over here in February and then we have to decide where to settle down.
    Alan

  • Marylyn Jester Nov 8, 2014, 9:02 am

    Mexico # 3 ! Wait a minute……………………
    DRIVEN the entire country on both coasts..TWICE.
    LIVED there 14 years up untill Nov 2013.
    It is now a war zone thanks to the U.S. ” War on
    drugs”. Hit.
    “11 numbers to help you understand the violence
    Rocking Mexico.”
    Wonderful old Mexico is gone .

    • Bryan Haines Nov 8, 2014, 9:08 am

      Appreciate your experience and perspective Marylyn. The list is based on the online expat community at Internations.

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