Worlds worst countries for expatriate life

Published:  7 Mar at 6 PM
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Quality of life is one of the most important aspects explored by would-be expats before life-changing decisions are made, but some countries are best avoided.

Annual surveys of expat hubs all over the world are a great way to ensure a happy, safe and remunerative relocation, but there are a number of countries which should be avoided like the proverbial plague. Health, safety and security are the keywords, especially if the prospective move abroad includes your family, with a recent InterNations survey telling it like it is as regards your worst options.

In spite of its growing popularity with expats, China scored poorly in the survey’s health and wellbeing sub-index, and the obvious language and cultural difficulties make settling extremely difficult for many expats. The Philippines has attracted many older expats in the past, but its new, somewhat controversial president isn’t known for increasing safety and healthcare in the country, preferring to concentrate on a literal war on drugs.

Uganda’s capital Luanda host s a sizeable expat population, but poverty, violence and a lack of adequate heathcare make it unsuitable for families or less than adventurous expatriates. English-speaking South Africa doesn’t have a language barrier but many respondents to the survey considered it unsafe due to high crime rates, scoring it 65th out of 67 countries for security. I

n spite of its problems with its largest, communist neighbour, the Ukraine has been seeing more expat interest over the past few years. However, its scores over all survey categories were poor, with transport and travel particularly unsatisfactory. The regular and often violent anti-government protests didn’t help, either.

Surprisingly, Ireland was the only Western European country to receive an unfavourable rating as regards safety and security, and Qatar’s stark wealth divides and lack of leisure options placed it near the bottom of the results. Peru was rated as having a poor quality of life as well as a poor safety record, and Kazakhstan is even less popular due to its poor cores on heath, wellbeing and leisure options.

Indonesia fared better, but was let down by its appalling travel and transport links. Popular Kenya also fared badly in the safety and security sector, with only three countries scoring fewer points, and India’s rapidly-growing economy hasn’t helped expats’ major concerns over heath and quality of life in general.

Tanzania was rated third-worst for health, wellbeing, travel and transport, and Brazil’s big-city reputation for gun violence and kidnapping said it all. Saudi Arabia’s wealth and luxury didn’t give expats a feeling of happiness, resulting in its low score, and Egypt scored poorly across the entire set of sub-indexes, whilst Kuwait came last in the personal happiness sector.

Mozambique’s scores for health, wellbeing, safety and security added up to a disastrous expat quality of life, and Nigeria’s ongoing terrorist attacks, poor infrastructure and heathcare as well as its dying economy made the country the worst in the world for expats.
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