Best Countries For Expats 2019

While many people are able to fulfill their dreams from their native countries, others have to venture abroad for these opportunities. A person that moves to another country temporarily or permanently is known as an expatriate – or expat, for short.

An expat is different from an immigrant because these people move to a native country for reasons other than economic necessity. An expat may leave their native country to take on a temporary job assignment, open a business in a foreign country, become a freelancer, or to fulfill another personal or professional dream. In other words, expats move to another country to take an opportunity that may not be available to them had they stayed in their native country.

Some countries offer many more opportunities than others. While there isn’t a comprehensive list of the best nations for expats, there are some studies that we can evaluate to determine which nations offer the best opportunities for expats. One such study was conducted by HSBC, which used responses from over 22,000 expats to determine which were the best for expat workers.

This study looked at work culture, salaries, job security, and other factors to determine which countries took the top spots. According to the latest study conducted in 2019, Germany is the best country for expats. This nation stands out for career progression, work/life balance, work culture, and job security.

Bahrain was listed as the next best country for expats. Seventy-seven percent of foreign expats reported that they made more money in Bahrain than in their native countries. Expats also praised relocation benefits of the country, including medical packages and accommodation allowances.

The United Kingdom ranks third on HSBC’s list. Learning new skills, work/life balance, education, and work culture were among the reasons that the U.K. ranked at the top of the list.

Rounding out the top five best nations for expats are the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.

Rank Flag Name Population 2019 Area Area (mi²) % of Earth's Area Growth Rate Region Subregion
1Germany83,517,045357,114 km²137,846 mi²0.24%0.47%EuropeWestern Europe
2United Kingdom67,530,172242,900 km²93,759 mi²0.16%0.58%EuropeNorthern Europe
3United Arab Emirates9,770,52983,600 km²32,270 mi²< 0.1%1.45%AsiaWestern Asia
4Switzerland8,591,36541,284 km²15,936 mi²< 0.1%0.77%EuropeWestern Europe
5Bahrain1,641,172765 km²295 mi²< 0.1%4.57%AsiaWestern Asia