Special Report

The 25 Best Countries for Working Abroad

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25. Thailand

This Southeast Asian country makes it to our list thanks to high praise for its work-life balance. Other areas where Thailand shines include its leisure options, low cost of living, comfortable compensation, and general friendliness. As a developing country, Thailand ranks about average for job security and prospects, cost of childcare and quality of education.

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24. Sweden

Expat satisfaction around career prospects and job security in Sweden saw noticeable declines last year, pulling the Scandinavian country down to 46th place from 22nd place a year earlier in the overall ranking of best countries for expats. The country ranks 24th in the working abroad category, buoyed by strong job security but anchored by more limited career prospects and satisfaction. Like its Nordic neighbors, Sweden gets high marks for family life, especially childcare and childhood education.

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23. China

China’s economy has been slowing, giving expats fewer reasons to relocate to the world’s soon-to-be-largest consumer market. The country is among the top 10 for personal finance, with about 70% of respondents to this survey saying their compensation more than covers their cost of living, which is more than 20 percentage points above the global average. But the financial advantages to working in mainland China as an expat come with costs, namely the country’s surveillance-state mentality, language barriers, and the challenges to settling in.

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22. Israel

Israel made a considerable jump from 44th place in 2017 in the working abroad category, thanks to improvements in quality of life issues like health and well-being, leisure options, and digital infrastructure. The country is among the top 20 for career prospects and job security, but 41st for work-life balance. Getting by without local language skills is easy, too, and the ease of settling in has improved considerably. In fact, Israel is among the countries that showed the best improvements from 2017 in the working abroad category.

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21. Mexico

Latin America’s second-largest economy is the fourth top expat destination overall in this survey. A large population of retired Americans who live there. But Mexico ranks average in terms of working abroad, with high marks for career prospects offset by lower rankings for work-life balance and job security. Mexico is, however, an easy place to settle in and it ranks first or second for overall friendliness, personal happiness and leisure options. Personal safety is an issue, however, with Mexico ranking 57th on the list for security.