Romantic Italy hits rock bottom in expat survey

Published:  7 Sep at 6 PM
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A recent survey has revealed expats choose Italy for romance but don’t rate the country for career opportunities or salary levels.

This year’s Expat Insider survey hasn’t been kind to Italy, a country better known for its romantic ambience than for its career opportunities and generous salaries. Out of 65 countries, the historic land was ranked a disappointing 60th, based on factors such as ease of settling in, working abroad and quality of life. The survey involved 13,000 expats living in 188 diverse countries, with over 50 per cent of expatriate respondents based in Italy unhappy about their careers and their incomes.

Looking on the bright side, 75 per cent of respondents were living happily and more than satisfied with their new friendships and relationships. Language skills were an important aspect, with more than 70 per cent able to speak Italian at a good level and around the same number considered learning the language one of the most important requirements for a happy life. The education sector was noted as a main employer for expats, with the majority of education professionals arriving from Germany, the UK and America.

Given that Italy’s famous for romance, it’s no surprise that over half those surveyed had found love with a local lady, and a good number also valued their friendships with Italians more than their contacts with other expats. In the survey’s quality of life rankings, the country was rated 34th, and the wellbeing sector hit 31st place out of 65 countries. Italy's overall poor score was caused by two disastrous rankings – 64th out of 65 for career prospects and the working life and 63 rd in the personal finance category.

Only five countries scored less than Italy, including some which expected to do better. Nigeria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia aren’t on the expats’ favourites list at present, but Greece and Brazil have their followings in the worldwide expat community. The survey’s highest three ratings show Bahrain in first place, followed by Mexico and Costa Rica.
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