Last updated on April 23, 2015
Relocating for any reason is a big decision. Assessments from local climate to job availability to the cost of living and schools for kids are only some of the common considerations. Being an expat also means fitting in and making new friends.
A recent survey conducted byInterNations revealed just where the happiest expats are these days.
They surveyed 14,000 expats across 160 countries and asked participants to focus mostly on family, their work life, ease of settling into the community and personal finance.
While several European cities made the list – Luxembourg City and Zurich were two top choices – New York City also made the cut. The Big Apple came in fifth overall with expats saying they like the friendliness of the people, the endless entertainment choices and ongoing plenitude of career opportunities.
Expats living in New York also said they were able to fit in easily, and with a city of such cultural diversity and vast population, that’s a big deal for anyone considering the move.
Ecuador ranked the best overall with expat satisfaction being the highest in all categories. In particular, expats enjoyed the city of Gayaquil – the nation’s financial center — for its low cost of living and ease in making new friends. Many said that the increase in career opportunities is also a big draw.
Mexico City ranked first with expats saying they feel right at home giving Mexico an overall third place for globally content expats. Their surveys reported an outstanding 91 percent of expats had no problem settling in and found the locals to be friendly. Although the city has its fair share of safety issues, crime rates have been decreasing since 2011.
Zurich and Luxembourg may not provide as easy a time at making friends, but they did make the happy expat list for job opportunities. According to the survey, nearly 40 percent of expats in Luxembourg moved there for work, while a majority of Zurich expats arrive for the banking and financial jobs.