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Top 10 countries in the world for best quality of life

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Porto, Portugal old town cityscape on the Douro River with traditional Rabelo boats. Photo: Getty

Taiwan may have come first in the ranking for the best country in the world to live as an expat but when it comes to quality of life —Portugal gained the top spot.

InterNations, the world’s largest expat networking group, released its benchmark Expat Insider 2019 report revealing where the best places are in the world to live as an expat.

An expat is defined as an employee sent abroad on a corporate assignment or classed as a new international hire. This will also mean that the experiences of that certain demographic could significantly differ from a local — especially being away on corporate assignment can entail bonuses, such as relocation stipends for example.

READ MORE: The 10 best places in the world to live as an expat

The Expat Insider 2019 report was conducted by InterNations and surveyed 20,259 expats, representing 182 nationalities, living in 187 countries or territories. The survey ran from 7 to 28 March. Respondents were asked to score 48 different factors — which fall into 17 subcategories — related to living abroad. Those 17 subcategories are then put into five pillars — Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, and Personal Finance.

For a place to be ranked, there needs to be a sample size of at least 75 survey participants per destination.

The Quality of Life index is made up of Leisure Options, Health & Well-Being, Safety & Security, Personal Happiness, Travel & Transportation, and Digital Life. Respondents rated factors on a scale from one to seven.

Here is the top 10 country ranking:

Country ranking for best quality of life. Table: InterNations/Yahoo Finance

Portugal rose from second to first after improving its rankings across safety and security, specifically in terms of political stability — 81% rate this factor favourably.

One expat from Brazil describes Portugal as “friendly and safe” while an expat from the Netherlands said Portugal’s great quality of life is down to “a combination of things... weather, food, plenty of sites and events, the people, proximity to the beach, everything.”

Spain came in second, thanks to its climate and weather — 76% of expats in the country are completely happy with this factor versus 26% globally.

However, Internations points out that while the country places in the top 10 in almost all other subcategories of the index, it doesn’t make it into the top 20 for Digital Life and Safety & Security.

An expat from Sweden said :“The somewhat corrupt political system and the independence movement in different areas.”

READ MORE: UK ranks as one of the worst countries to live in the world