The 25 Best Countries for Working Abroad

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20. Switzerland

This expat hub fell last year in the overall ranking of best expat destinations, to 47th place from 27th. Expensive and bureaucratic, Switzerland ranks poorly in cost of living and ease of settling in. The European country still ranks in the top 10 for quality of life but slipped to 20th place (form 13th) in work-related categories. Expats also say they generally do not feel at home in the local culture and find it difficult to make local friends.

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19. Austria

Austria received remarkable ratings for overall family life, making it second only to Finland in the 2018 rankings in this category. It’s also the top destination for health and well being and it’s among the top 10 for transportation services. But like other European countries, it can be difficult to find expat work, and that work can be less satisfying; it ranks 43rd in career prospects and 30th in work-life balance. It does, however, rank high (11th place) in job security.

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18. Belgium

Belgium ranks below three of its neighbors that are considered in this survey to be better places to work as an expat — the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. It also ranks underwhelmingly in quality of life (39th place) and ease of settling in (45th place). But it’s among the top 10 for childcare availability and cost, and for family life overall.

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17. Estonia

This Baltic state is one of the few newcomers to the list of best countries for expats and ranks as the 27th best destination overall for expats, thanks in part to improved economic conditions since 2015. Although it ranks modestly for job security (29th place), it falls within the top 20 for career prospects and work-life balance. The country’s strong embrace of new technology places it at the top of the list of most digitally connected countries as it has effectively eliminated bureaucratic hurdles, expats said in the survey. Estonia also received high praise for the quality of its education and childcare costs.

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16. Panama

One of the three Latin American countries ranked among the top 25 places for working expats, Panama also had one of the most noticeable shifts in its ranking for overall best destination for expats, jumping to 13th place in 2018 from 36th in 2017. The Central American country is in the top 10 for career prospects and for having a low barrier for language (English is commonly spoken) and in the top 20 for job security and personal happiness.