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The 61 Top Expat Countries Worldwide

Where to Live

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).

top expat countries

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.

Here are the top expat countries according to 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 32 stories of expats living in EcuadorSalinas 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.
  4. Switzerland: Learn more about Switzerland with Rick Steves or check out the book: Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I'd Known. Here are some things to know before moving to Lucerne Switzerland.
  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: 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. Check out this huge guide: 77 Facts About Spain
  8. Philippines: Get a quick introduction to retiring in the Philippines with this free Kindle book. Learn more about Philippine travel.
  9. Australia:
  10. Hong Kong:
  11. Costa Rica: This country was certainly on our radar as we sorted through the country choices. The following books may help you plan your move to Costa Rica: Becoming an Expat Costa Rica and Retire Overseas! Costa Rica Edition. Learn more in our Costa Rica guide.
  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.  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. Check out this expat book: Becoming an expat: Thailand
  23. Netherlands: 
  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: For more about the area, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Vietnam and Angkor Wat
  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!
  31. Peru:
  32. Denmark:
  33. UAE:
  34. Sweden:
  35. Kazakhstan:
  36. Chile:
  37. Kenya:
  38. China: It's on our daughter's bucket list, so I guess it's on ours too. Check out this book: Expat in China: A Family Adventure
  39. Cyprus:
  40. France: Learn more about France in this epic guide.
  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 through 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: Learn more about India in this guide:78 Facts about 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.

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

Your Turn

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

Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is co-editor of - and is working to make it the best resource for current and future expats. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of GringosAbroad (Find Your Next Adventure in Ecuador) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with Bryan and Dena.

12 comments… add one
  • 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.

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

    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.

  • 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.

  • Dave Short Nov 11, 2014, 7:34 pm


  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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


  • Rey Waters Aug 6, 2018, 5:25 am

    Just finished five years in Yokohama Japan. Prior to our move we traveled to Ecuador, and Costa Rica as possible new homes. They both had their positives, but for quality of life I believe Japan has it all. Safety, Healthy lifestyle, Food, world class train system, and so many places to see I may never reach them all in my lifetime. Yes, we cost more than most of the countries on your list however, I have kept a spreadsheet of our living expenses since 2013 and our average is what it would cost to live in Dallas, Texas. Our excellent healthcare is 1/10 of what we were paying in the U.S. Food is the most expensive item, but there are very few preservatives and chemicals in our food, which means you have to shop daily. For more about life here in Japan visit my blog.

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