If you want to leave your home country behind, move to Ecuador, Luxembourg or México.
That’s according to the largest survey of expatriates in the world. Nine out of 10 respondents from Ecuador reported being satisfied with their lives there, making it the No. 1 destination.
The data comes from the 2014 Expat Insider, administered by InterNations. It includes responses from nearly 14,000 expats from more than 160 countries.
The questions touched on general quality of life, working abroad, family life, leisure and making friends abroad, international romance and expat relationships, and personal finances.
Ecuador took the top spot.
Ecuador ranked high in personal finance (No. 1) and ease of settling (No. 8), which includes characteristics like making friends and feeling at home. Eighty-two percent of respondents found settling down easy there.
Over one-third of respondents, however, said living in the country without speaking English was difficult, although roughly the same number called learning the native language easy.
Ecuador also took the top ranking for personal happiness. Nearly half of respondents said they were “very happy” with their lives, with just as many planning to stay “possibly forever.”
The second spot went to Luxembourg.
The country’s success is likely due to a high ranking in the working abroad category, with 64% of expats saying their job was the most important reason to move abroad. Two in five people, the highest percentage of any country on the survey, found a job in the country on their own.
Less than one-third, however, want to stay in Luxembourg long-term.
Mexico took third place.
Mexico is the clear winner when it comes to the “Ease of Settling In” Index.
Its high ranking here helps account for its achieving third place overall in our expat survey.
Nine in ten expats (91%) are pleased with their expat life in Mexico, the same percentage as for the overall winner, Ecuador.
Another measure of satisfaction is the high number of expats (44%) that would like to stay in Mexico forever.
About one in three expats (28%) moved to Mexico for a job. Interestingly, the next highest percentage (19%) list love as their
main motivation for moving to Mexico.
They either moved in order to join their partner in Mexico or moved along with them.
Mexico ranks the lowest of our top three countries in the Working Abroad Index, coming in at 25th place out of 61.
The lowest ranking was in the subcategory “job security” (32nd place).
Mexico’s results in the Quality of Life Index are somewhat mixed.
On the bright side, Mexico ranks fourth for personal happiness, and the general satisfaction with the local climate and weather also adds to the quality of living.
Only 61% of expats, however, are satisfied with Mexico’s transportation infrastructure. Not even two-thirds (62%) are pleased with their level of personal safety.
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