This surprise pick was just named the best place for expats to live in 2017
As for the United States, the results are not pretty
Just off the coasts of Saudi Arabia and Qatar lies the best country in the world for expats to live, according to a sweeping study from InterNations.
Yes, Bahrain, which barely cracked the top 20 in 2016, made strides across all metrics to surge to number one. The Gulf state fared particularly well as a place to work and raise a family and for its knack for making foreigners feel welcome.
One respondent said, “Bahrainis are very friendly and welcoming. Everyone speaks English.” Another called it “a beautiful melting pot of many different cultures.”
Bahrain’s neighbors, on the other hand, didn’t score well at all. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all ranked in the bottom 10 in the survey.
While Bahrain may come as a surprise, the other two rounding out the top three are no strangers to high marks from expats.
Costa Rica, scoring well in quality of life, ease of settling in and family life, finished second in the survey, followed by Mexico, a perennial top-five finisher.
As surprising as Bahrain might be atop the list, the bottom-dweller, with its gorgeous vistas, friendly people and fantastic food, is also unexpected.
Greece, faring even worse than reliable laggards Kuwait and Nigeria, was named the worst place for expats to live. The low ranking stems primarily from the tough financial situation. One British respondent mentioned having “feelings of insecurity due to the economic crisis.”
As for the United States, the results are not pretty. Since last year’s presidential election the U.S. is seen as less friendly to foreigners and less politically stable, which pushes it down 17 spots to number 43 on the list. That’s better than Israel but worse than South Africa, France and Kenya, to name a few.
InterNations, a network of almost 3 million expats, conducts the Expat Insider survey each year in an attempt to capture the views of millions of workers, students and retirees who have chosen to live outside of their country of origin. Participants were asked to rate 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven.
Courtesy of MarketWatch