Expats move abroad for new job opportunities, for relationships, or even just to live a simpler life. In a new survey by InterNations, the world’s largest network for people who live and work abroad, the company asked 14,300 expats, representing 174 nationalities and living in 191 countries or territories, to rate 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of 1-7.
One of the sub-indexes was the Cost of Living, where the data was based solely on the ratings given by respondents to the general cost of living in their respective country of residence, also on a scale of 1-7.
67 countries were included in this index. The minimum sample size per country were 50 respondents. Over 45 of those countries had more than 100 respondents.
So, Business Insider took a look at the top 13 places where it was the cheapest in the world to live for expats.
13. Romania —The government’s spending rises and tax deductions are helping to stimulate more activity within the country, which is boosting job opportunities for locals as well as expats. Meanwhile, the cost of living remains super-low.
12. Spain —Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia are brimming with job opportunities and salaries are one of the best in Western Europe. But the country, also famed for it’s great weather, carries little cost for accommodation, food, and transport.
11. Malta —The country leaped up the top of the list this year as not a single respondent said they were completely dissatisfied with their personal finances, meaning they were happy with the balance between money coming in and money going out on the cost of living.
10. Poland —Cities like Warsaw are full of professional service job opportunities for expats and the salaries go a long way there because the cost of living still remains far lower than those in London, Paris, and Frankfurt.
9. Philippines — Accommodation is one of the cheapest in the region and around 50% less than what you’d pay for in another popular expat spot, Thailand.
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8. Czech Republic — While living in the capital of Prague is, of course, more expensive than staying in more rural areas, food, transport, and accommodation are still cheap compared to Western counterparts. The country also increasingly provides ample job opportunities.
7. Ecuador — Not a single respondent ranked the cost of living as “very bad” as salaries go a long way there. However, only 20% of the expats that emigrated to Ecuador said they were there for financial reasons.
6. Hungary — The country remains near the top of the ranking as expats say the cost of living is cheap and personal finances are satisfactory. 30% said they were completely satisfied with their with their financial situation — a rise from 19% in 2015.
5. Mexico — Many places in Mexico, such as Cancun, are hotspots for US tourists but still draw in expats for work. While the cost of living is one of the cheapest in the world, it is becoming more expensive due to the number of expats going over there.
4. Vietnam — In this country, your personal finances go a long way since lodging and food come at some of the relatively cheapest costs across the continent and globe.
3. Taiwan — 83% of those surveyed are generally satisfied with the cost of living in the country with 96% saying that their “disposable household income is sufficient for their daily life.”
2. Thailand — Money goes a long way for expats as food, transport, and accommodation are cheap when compared to Western countries.
1. Ukraine — The eastern European country dominates the top of the ranking, thanks 45% of expats saying that the cost of living is extremely affordable. This is well above the worldwide average of 14%. Around 75% also say that the low cost of living was one of the biggest draws to them moving there in the first place.
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