Survey finds expats do have more fun in the Philippines

Published:  25 Apr at 6 PM
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The results of a recent survey place the Philippines high on the list of best expat destinations for romance, friendliness, language, personal happiness and cost of living.

According to the InterNations Expat Insider survey, the reality of living in the Philippines confirms the country’s recent tourism soundbite ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’. The Southeast Asian island archipelago scored high for personal happiness, friendly local people, cheap cost of living, personal finance, language and cost and availability of childcare. In the expat romance category, it beat out all other contenders to take the top spot.

The 2014 online survey attracted 13,851 respondents from 165 nationalities living in 169 countries across the world. As well as taking the top place in the Romance category, the Philippines scored second to Poland in the Personal Happiness subcategory. Its ratings in the General Quality of Life category were dragged down to 44th out of 61 countries due to lower rankings in the Leisure Options, Health, Safety and Wellbeing and Travel and Transport sub-categories.

Better news came in the Ease of Settling In category, with the country ranking 5th overall due to top ratings in Language, Finding Friends, Feeling Welcome and the all-important Friendliness sections. Interestingly, 31per cent of respondents said their best friends were mostly local people rather than other expats.

Another high ranking came in the Family Life index, with the Philippines taking 7th place overall, mostly due to the reasonable cost of childcare and education. Local private schools are favourites for expats’ children, with 95 per cent of parents determined to raise their children to speak several languages. At present, just over a third of expat children study at local private schools, with 29 per cent enrolled in international schools and just 16 per cent going to local state schools.

Retirees get a good deal for their pension payments with just over half those surveyed saying they had no problems covering daily expenses, whilst 85 per cent stating their income was higher than that of local people. Along with Indonesia and Vietnam, the Philippines received generally positive ratings as regards expat retirees’ lifestyles, with many choosing the country for romantic reasons. A total of 66 per cent of expats in the country are married to or living with a Filipino.
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