Want to Escape? These Are the 10 Best Countries for Expats Right Now

published Jul 9, 2024
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Every time the news cycle hits a fever pitch, many people consider living out their expat life either as a remote worker or in retirement, like through a life-changing move to Canada, Portugal, Japan, or Vietnam. But whether or not your furious Googling to find the easiest countries to get a remote worker visa is politically motivated, the tradition (and allure) of leaving home behind for a new adventure is a constant pull — especially if you’re not sure where to go.

No matter where you are in your planning stage — even if you’re just living in fantasyland — InterNations, a website that connects expats worldwide, dropped a new report ranking the best places to live right now if you’re thinking of living abroad.

The 11th annual report is a comprehensive look at the state of expats globally, including how they feel about the countries they currently live in, how affordable they are, how easy it might be to remote work there, and more. 

The team interviewed 12,500 expats globally, representing 175 nationalities and living in 174 different countries, about how they feel about their new home. They interviewed the survey respondents across a variety of vectors, including how they felt about their quality of life, their financial situations, the housing affordability in their new countries, how they’ve adapted to speaking different languages, how difficult they found it to get a visa, work-life balance, and more. 

According to InterNations, the best place for expats to live in right now is Panama. Eighty-two percent of expats who lived in the country were happy about their life (compared with, the report notes, just 68% of expats worldwide). Meanwhile, 62% of respondents think the housing is affordable, almost every respondent was happy about their access to the internet, and it was the fourth-easiest country in which you can get a visa. It also ranks high in having an affordable public transit system, and the folks who live there love the climate and the activities Panama offers. 

Meanwhile, the second most popular destination for expats is Mexico. Expats in Mexico, the report notes, are super happy — 89% of them, in fact. They also feel that the locals are friendly and welcoming, that getting a visa wasn’t too difficult, that it’s pretty easy to work abroad there (ranked 8th overall) and 43% of respondents were completely satisfied with their work-life balance. (Interestingly, Mexico City is also getting more expensive, according to a separate report from Mercer.)

While Vietnam only ranked eighth in the list of the best countries for expats, if budget is on your mind, it was also ranked the absolute most affordable in 2024. Meanwhile, other countries outside of the top 10 also made big moves between 2023 and 2024 — South Korea, for example, ranks 23rd in this list despite being the 50th out of 53 in 2024. Belgium also gained major favor, as the 18th best country.

These are the top 10 best countries for expats in 2024:

  1. Panama
  2. Mexico
  3. Indonesia
  4. Spain
  5. Colombia
  6. Thailand
  7. Brazil
  8. Vietnam
  9. Philippines
  10. UAE

So whether or not your dreams of living abroad are really coming together, or are escapist fantasy, there are plenty of different places where you can consider decamping. 

Check out the entire Expat Insider 2024 report from InterNations here.