Dreaming of a new start? Here are the top places to live, work abroad

Mexico ranks high based on the ease of settling in and the quality of life.
A hotel guest in Mexico takes in the view of the Pacific Ocean.
Posted at 11:01 AM, Jul 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-13 11:01:04-04

When it comes to the best place to live and work abroad, Mexico is No. 1.

According to The Expat Insider, Mexico ranks high based on the ease of settling in, getting started abroad, and the quality of life.

Mexico’s top spot has been consistent as the country has ranked in the top 5 since the first survey was conducted in 2014.

Mexico has always ranked among the best in the ease of settling in category as well as local friendliness. Expats say they’re happy with their lives abroad in the country, with a 90% rate of happiness in Mexico compared to 72% globally.

The Expat Insider report ranks 53 destinations based on five indexes: quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance and an expat essentials index, which covers housing, administration, language and digital life. 

The report shows that finding friends for expats is no problem in Mexico.  About 3 in 4 expats say that it is easy to make local friends, compared to only 43% globally. Expats in Mexico say they have a personal support network and are happy with their social lives overall. 

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Coming in at No. 2 is Spain. The majority of expats, 88%, say they are happy with the culture and nightlife in Spain, compared to 68% globally. 

Additionally, over 9 in 10 are happy with their opportunities for recreational sports. Spain does well in the culture subcategory, as 80% of expats surveyed feel at home there, 18 percentage points more than the global average of 62%. 

Panama comes in third out of 53 destinations in 2023. Expats are especially happy with the ease of settling in and in finding friends. Most expats in Panama, 82%, say they have a personal support network, compared to 58% globally.