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Picky Expats. Which Countries Immigrants Are Most Dissatisfied With

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Many people continue to look with hope at the potential future abroad, but is there any light at the end of this tunnel? The results of the annual Expat Insider 2021 study on the experience of immigrants abroad may greatly surprise both dreamers and realists.

Being an immigrant is not easy: a new job, finding housing in a suitable area, adapting to a different culture and society, establishing new contacts, longing for family, friends and the old life… The events of the last couple of years have added stress to everyone, but the period was especially difficult for expats. Every sphere of state activity has been subjected to a serious test. And not all countries have successfully coped with it.

The researchers have analyzed the opinion of expats from 59 countries of the world about how their lives. The final results consisted of several indicators:

  • Quality of life (entertainment, satisfaction level, transport and movement, health, safety, digital technology development, environmental quality);
  • Ease of adaptation (feeling "at home", the friendliness of the locals, finding new friends);
  • Work (career and prospects, life-work balance, job security);
  • Financial situation (prices in the country, the ratio of wages and costs).

The results might be very surprising…

Also read: Digital Nomad Index 2021

Top-10 Most Disliked Countries of the Year

50 Malta 55 Egypt
51 India 56 Russia
52 Turkey 57 South Africa
53 Cyprus 58 Italy
54 Japan 59 Kuwait

Let's start from the end. This is not the first time that Kuwait has been in the last place of the rating. To be more accurate, this is the seventh time. The country lags behind in all respects: there is little entertainment, difficult to settle down, career prospects are low, hard to find friends among locals… Against the background of the crown, a third of the respondents were going to leave the country prematurely. The question hung in the air, why do they continue to go there… And no, there are few people who are satisfied with their salaries.

On the penultimate line was Italy (surprises - here we come). 44% of expats are dissatisfied with their salaries, one in three does not have enough money even for everyday expenses. 31% are not satisfied with their work in principle, and 56% do not see any career prospects. A third of respondents have problems with the Internet access, which is a mortal sin nowadays! In other aspects, the country is in the middle positions, but the financial component has the most negative impact on the mood of immigrants.

South Africa has approximately the same problems with regard to finances: 34% of respondents are lacking sources for personal needs, and 43% are dissatisfied with the financial situation in general. All this pales against the background of the level of security, which is positively assessed by only 24% of expats. Some frankly believe that walking in the streets alone is not safe.

Russia was in the top five for the reasons like climate, an undeveloped infrastructure, an unstable financial situation related to the exchange rate. Another reason for the low rating was the difficulties of adapting to the local culture due to the language barrier. Migrants believe that it is extremely important to know Russian for a full-fledged active life, nevertheless 67% of respondents experience difficulties with it. But the country offers low costs of iving and cheap high-quality Internet connection. Watch and learn, Italy!

Egypt can hardly boast of the results of this year. Closed borders are partly to blame: after all, it is mainly a tourist destination. But the lack of a normal Internet (34%), problems with paying by card (32%) and the unavailability of public services online (a problem for 60%) sent the country to the last place in terms of the development of digital technologies (even Kuwait has moved). And with the career of many immigrants, it does not really work out here.

Japan, as a representative of the developed world, should surprise with its presence on the list of the worst. 71% of respondents cry in attempts to learn Japanese, without which it is difficult to live and operate here. 43% say that it is difficult for them to adapt and settle here once and for all, because the locals separate themselves from immigrants, although they treat them politely. 50% of expats are dissatisfied with the hours of work, which do not allow them to live a full life. But the country is coping well with prospects, salaries and travelling (in general, not now).

Cyprus. Oh yes. It's warm, sunny, what else can you need? The quality of life here is not at the lowest level. But social climbers definitely do not belong here: 20% of the surveyed immigrants are very dissatisfied with their work. A quarter is not satisfied with the number of working hours, because of which the presence of the sun and good weather ceases to matter. At the same time, employment guarantees are rated very low. Despite the average expenses, almost 30% of expats are dissatisfied with their financial situation.

Turkey, which is becoming more and more popular among buyers of foreign real estate every year, was also among the laggards. First of all, the "fallen" lira has led to a decrease in income. 43% are saddened by the economic state of the country, which affects ordinary people. 32% say that they work too much, which causes a split when thinking about a career and keeping a job in general. But the country is not at the bottom of the rating, because it is easy to gain a foothold here: it will not be difficult to find new friends, locals are friendly.

India suffered both in 2020 and in 2021: the outbreak of an epidemic and a new strain do not give respite to either the economy or social spheres. The country was ranked 56th in terms of response to the pandemic. The quality of life is also rated very low – only Kuwait is in the ranking after India. The country has big problems with the environment, 67% of expats are very dissatisfied with the air quality. The level of security is also a concern: 18% are personally worried about themselves, and 32% are worried about the unstable political situation.

Malta, so favored by billionaires, entered the top ten worst countries according to expats. It's all about the quality of life, which is rated low due to the overall level of security (43rd place), low digitalization of the island (46th place), poor level of environmental care (already 56th place), problems with transport and accessibility (well, what did you expect from an island), and personal finances are somehow low.

Loved for the Shortcomings. Top 10 Best Countries of the Year

1 Taiwan 6 New Zealand
2 Mexico 7 Australia
3 Costa Rica 8 Ecuador
4 Malaysia 9 Canada
5 Portugal 10 Vietnam

The list looks somewhat unusual: if Malaysia or Canada do not cause surprise, the eyebrows rise to the sky when looking at Mexico or Ecuador. The explanation here is prosaic: these countries are very popular among American immigrants, especially of retirement age. Prices in Latin America allow you to buy an inexpensive, but good apartment in a resort. At the same time, it is possible to maintain the same standard of living on an American pension, which is not so easy to do in the United States.

But many people can imagine the advantages on their own. We are here to gossip about outrages. How cloudless is life in the best countries?

  • In Taiwan, expats are not satisfied with the air quality (44%);
  • In Mexico, 20% of expats are worried about a low level of personal security (only 8% believe the same among all countries on avegrage);
  • In Costa Rica, 20% of immigrants believe that public transport is very poorly developed;
  • 26% of respondents in Malaysia are concerned about political instability;
  • In the ranking of career prospects, Portugal was on the 44th place – people come there to enjoy life, not to build a career;
  • In New Zealand, only 64% can work from home (on average, 78% of expats can afford such a luxury worldwide);
  • 41% of immigrants living in Australia are shocked by the local prices, especially for rent and real estate;
  • Ecuador ranks 45th out of 59 in terms of personal security (you can walk on the streets, but carefully);
  • Real estate prices are the worst in Canada, immigrants note that the average income is not enough to buy their own home (41%);
  • 63% of expats in Vietnam are depressed by severe air pollution, and 50% complain about the complete lack of public services via the Internet.
Learn more: The Best Cities in the World by the Quality of Life

By the way, what about the pandemic?

Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, India and Japan coped with the pandemic the worst. More than a quarter of respondents in these countries were extremely dissatisfied with the way the local authorities reacted to the situation with the coronavirus. 

Quoting conditions of Prian materials

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Tags: Market Analysis, Life abroad, Immigration

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