The best countries for expats 2015

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

expatsMany expats search for the perfect balance between work and life. InterNations, the world’s leading social network and information site for people who live and work abroad, announced the results of its recent survey about the best countries for expats.

Malta ranks first in the Expat Insider 2015 survey for overall job satisfaction, with seven in ten expats generally satisfied and 27 percent even completely satisfied, compared to a global average of only 16 percent. In terms of career prospects, only the USA and the United Kingdom rank higher. Other popular destinations for those in the search of an interesting job and good career opportunities are China, Mozambique, Luxembourg and Poland.

The lower end of the Job & Career ranking is dominated by European countries: Out of 64 countries overall, Italy, Portugal and Greece — all of them suffering economically — offer the least favorable job opportunities for foreign residents.

top expat destinations

Sweden, Norway and Malta occupy the top ranks when it comes to work-life balance, while Saudi Arabia, India and Kuwait are at the bottom. Expats in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, as well as Malta, are also the most satisfied with their working hours, whilst those in Turkey, Greece, and Chile are the least happy with this aspect.

The average expat works a 42-hour week, with 86 percent in full-time and 14 percent in part-time positions. While the global average of 31-year-old to 35-year-old expats working full-time remains as high as 91 percent, there is a huge dip in the number of those above the age of 50, with 79 percent of them working full-time.

Foreign assignees work the most, with 46.1 hours per week, followed by foreign recruitees (44.7 hours) and career-oriented expats (44.1 hours). Traveling spouses, on the other hand, only have a 34.6-hour workweek, which is not surprising considering that 39 percent of them work part-time. Expat parents only spend slightly less time at work than expats without children: expat dads still work 45.7 hours per week in full-time positions, and 26.1 hours if they have a part-time job. On average, expat moms work less with 43.1 hours in full-time positions or 22.9 hours part-time. Even among the general survey population, men work slightly longer hours than women (44.2 vs. 39.7 hours). They are also a lot less likely to work part-time than women, with 90 percent of men working full-time compared to 82 percent of women.

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