(Q24N) From the InterNations Happiest countries for expats, Costa Rica is tops of 17 countries where expats live the happiest lives. Being happy is not an exact formula — earning a lot of money does not necessarily equate to a happy life.

A new survey by the world’s largest network for people who live and work abroad, shows that this is the case for expats across the globe.

InterNations asked 14,300 people living overseas, representing 174 nationalities and living in 191 countries, to rate 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of 1-7.

One of the sub-indexes looked at personal happiness.

Some of the countries that made the top slots showed that the happiest expats across the globe were not necessarily earning a huge amount of money, nor were they in places that had the best infrastructure, such as the case with Costa Rica. But something about living in these countries satisfied them.

Take a look at each for yourself, starting with number 17:

alxpin / Getty images

17. Portugal —The country ranks in the top 5 “dream destinations” for expats, according to the survey. It is particularly popular for people emigrating with children.

Tourists visit waterfalls at Ayn Athum in Salalah, Dhofar province, Oman.Reuters

16. Oman — Expats going to this country usually move with a job already secured. Once they are there, many say good personal safety (57%), political stability (46%), and peacefulness (62%) all contribute to a happy life.

Photosite/Shutterstock

15. Kenya —The country is becoming increasingly popular with expats, thanks to job growth in various sectors, beautiful surroundings, incredible weather, and a low cost of living.

Fotos593/Shutterstock

14. Peru — The survey says that Peru mainly attracts business owners, so expats who already have an income. Many relocate for the weather and low cost of living.

Dalene And Peter Heck/Hecktic Media

13. Hungary — Hungary is one of countries that climbed the most in the personal finance index, meaning that people are earning more. This has contributed to the the personal happiness of expats as costs have not risen in line with earnings, making it a cheap place to live.

A general view shows Hoima town, Uganda April 27, 2015.Reuters

12. Uganda —The east African nation has transformed itself into a country of relative stability and prosperity and this is attracting expats from across the globe looking for emerging market opportunities.

Anisha Shah

11. Taiwan — The country features near the top of many sub-indexes and expats in Taiwan are “relatively well-off despite low absolute income.” Access to quality healthcare and education also makes expats happy there.

Flickr/Moyan Brenn

10. Spain — Accommodation, food and drink, and transport cost very little in comparison to Western European countries such as Britain. Combined with job prospects, decent pay, and good weather, expats rate this as one of the places they are most happy with.

Panama Canal

9. Panama — The country is a hive for service economy jobs, including finance and infrastructure. Pay goes a long way and the good weather does not hurt.

Alan Strakey/Flickr

8. Vietnam — The popular expat destination for Western Europeans scores highly because you can live pretty decadently on a low wage (by Western standards). There is also incredible scenery, activities and places to explore.

Phurinee Chinakathum

7. Thailand — Another favourite destination for the Western world is Thailand, where low cost of living, easiness of settling in, and activities make expats very happy.

Roys Bay, New Zealand.Flickr / paul bica

6. New Zealand — The country may be out of the way but peacefulness, good healthcare, and good education all contribute to expats saying they are extremely happy there.

Jessie on a Journey

5. Ecuador — The country fell 16 places in the quality of life index, but in terms of personal happiness, expats say it’s one of the best places in the world for a happy life. Cost of living is low and weather and activities are abundant.

Wikimedia Commons

4. Philippines — Those with families rank the country highly thanks to a friendly attitude towards children and low cost of living.

javarman/Shutterestock

3. Mexico — The country ranks number one in the ease of settling in index, as well as highly across the weather and friendliness sub-indexes.

In Green/Shutterstock

2. Malta — The country is a favourite destination for Europeans looking to relocate, thanks to the ease of settling in, low language barrier, low cost of living and enviable weather. Interestingly, the survey shows that personal happiness is one of the best because 70% of expats in Malta surveyed are in a relationship, compared to the global average of 63%.

Armando Maynez / Wikimedia Commons

1. Costa Rica — The country is one of the top 5 “dream destinations” for expats in the survey and makes people happy from all different walks of life — 19% are entrepreneurs or business owners, 20% have a part-time job, while 14% are retirees.

 

Source: InterNations; Business Insider


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