These countries ranked as top destinations for expats in 2023

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  • Published on December 1, 2023
  • In Uncategorized

Over 12,000 expats ranked 53 countries based on factors such as quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance, housing availability and more.

Expatriates (expats) are individuals who leave their native country and choose to live elsewhere and are the best people to consult with when considering which countries would be the best to live in. These world residents have the unique experience of knowing how to navigate through life in the U.S. and other countries. The Expat Insider 2023 conducted their annual survey of expats around the globe to come up with the ultimate ranking of the best places to live.

For 10 years, the survey has considered the opinion of expats based on five factors: as quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance and expat essentials. The survey was completed by 12,065 expats representing 177 nationalities living in 181 different countries or territories. The group ranked 53 countries.

The results unanimously favored life south of the border. Mexico took the top spot with 90 percent of expats expressing satisfaction for the country due to personal finances and ease in settling in. InterNations founder Malte Zeeck told Forbes that Mexico has always shined on their survey, noting that the country has always made it into the worldwide top five.

“It’s where expats worldwide find it easiest to get used to the local culture, where they feel most welcome and where they describe the local residents as the friendliest population worldwide,” said Zeeck. “Together with the relatively low cost of living and the attractive climate, this turns Mexico into an expat magnet.”

While Mexico is a desired destination, there are some drawbacks. Personal safety was one of the biggest concerns for expats.

“Personal safety remains one of Mexico’s biggest issues—for locals and expats alike,” said Zeeck.

Forbes added that, in 2022, the survey participants ranked Mexico No. 49 out of 52 destinations for safety. The country maintained its ranking in 2023, coming in at No. 49 out of 53 countries and 18% of expats reporting not feeling safe in Mexico (vs. 8% globally).

Following Mexico’s top honor, Spain climbed to the No. 2 spot this year. The country has grown in popularity among expats, as the country ranked No. 5 in 2022.

A major selling point for living in the country is its the quality of life expats experience, a category that Spain ranked first in for the second year in a row. 88% of expats also note that the culture and nightlife keep them coming back to Spain.

After not making the list at all in 2022, Panama made a surprise return to close out the top three this year. Expats found a lot of similarities between Panama and Mexico. Factors such as personal finance, settling in, and housing aided in the country’s return to the list.

The United States took a dive in rankings, dropping from No. 47 to 51. Forbes states the downward shift is likely due to concerns among expats regarding the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of commuting within the country.

If you want to see which countries made the list — and where they rank —  you can view the complete survey here.


Martie Bowser is a journalist and public relations professional in Charlotte, NC. She enjoys amplifying the voices of POC and women that fill a void within their community. Her favorite things to cover include “person of interest” pieces, small business highlights, pop culture commentary, entertainment features, and everything about Beyoncé. Her bylines can be found in Blavity, Black Excellence, Signature Bride, Black Wall Street Times, and HipHop Weekly. Martie can be reached via email at

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