Expats rate Thailand as 25th best spot
published : 11 Sep 2019 at 09:02
newspaper section: Business
Thailand ranked 25th out of 64 destinations to live and work worldwide in the Expat Insider 2019 survey by InterNations.
The survey provides in-depth information about expats' satisfaction with quality of life, ease of settling in, working life, personal finance, cost of living and family life in their country of residence.
Published for the sixth year, the survey had more than 20,000 respondents.
Thailand ranks high on the personal finance and cost of living indices, at 13th and 15th, respectively, down from the previous year, when it was sixth and fourth.
Expats noted Thailand for ease of settling in and working life. Thailand ranks 16th for work and leisure. In the family life index, Thailand ranked high for options for children's education and childcare.
Yet 25th is Thailand's worst ranking in the survey. The country lost ground on quality of life, digital life, safety and security, and health and well-being.
Nearly half of respondents based in Thailand are not satisfied with the availability of administrative and government services online. Additionally, the country ranks 56th for both political stability and the environment.
"There is no care for the environment," said an expat from Luxembourg.
On a positive note, quality of medical care is one of Thailand's strongest points. Some 80% of expats rated this factor positively and the country features among the global top 10.
While 70% of expats living in Thailand are happy with their financial situation and 76% are satisfied with the cost of living, these have fallen from 77% and 86%, respectively, in 2018.
With Thailand ranking 21st out of 36 countries in the family life index, expat parents are satisfied with their family life in general. Close to nine out of 10 expats with children are happy with this factor.
Respondents are also particularly happy with the positive attitude towards families with children (93%).
Best and worst destinations
Taiwan (first), Vietnam (second) and Portugal (third) stand out for their excellent results in the survey. All of them attract expats with their ease of settling in and good personal finances. 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, Kuwait was 64th and Italy and Nigeria tied as the worst destinations for expats in 2019. While Kuwait is the country where expats find it hardest to settle in, Italy offers the worst work life, and Nigeria the worst quality of life in the world.
Several countries attracted attention for their massive changes within just one year. Kazakhstan saw the biggest uptick in the survey, rising to 22nd from 49th in 2018.
Indonesia moved up from 50th to 29th, while Qatar leapfrogged from 38th to 18th.
On the other hand, Cyprus is the biggest loser, falling from 30th to 45th. Costa Rica fell from seventh to 21st, while South Korea dipped from 41st to 55th. The latter is considered one of the worst destinations for expats in the world. Expats seem to be especially unhappy with the cost of healthcare in South Korea.