The 10 worst countries to live in the world as an expat

By Lianna Brinded, Head of Yahoo Finance UK | Yahoo Finance UK

St. Basil’s Cathedral and Spasskaya tower on Red Square in Moscow in the morning sun. Photo: Getty

There are only six countries that beat Britain as being one of the worst places to live in the world, according to the major benchmark Expat Insider 2019 report.

The group surveyed 20,259 expats, representing 182 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories.

An expat is defined as an employee sent abroad on a corporate assignment or classed as a new international hire. The survey ran from 7 to 28 March. Respondents were asked to score 48 different factors — which fall into 17 subcategories — related to living abroad. Those 17 subcategories are then put into five pillars —Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, and Personal Finance.

For a place to be ranked, there needs to be a sample size of at least 75 survey participants per destination. For the 2019, 64 destinations, respectively, met these requirements, although many countries or territories the sample size exceeded by 75 or even 100 participants.

Here are the bottom 10 places to live in the world as an expat.

Table: Internations/Yahoo Finance

Kuwait was seen as the worst country to live an expat for the second consecutive year. Prior to that, it was rated last in 2014 to 2016.

Expats scored it exceptionally low across a majority of categories, such as ease of settling in and quality of life and 36% say they are unhappy with work-life balance.

Brexit helped drag Britain down the index with expats scoring Russia higher as an overall better place to live. That’s even though expats struggle with the language, hampering their ability to settle in (77%) — nearly double the global average.

A Swiss expat said “the language is too difficult to learn if you work full-time” as “you need time to learn and revise it.”

Language issues also helped make come in second to last as the best place to live in the world. Some 67% disagree that it is easy to live there without speaking Italian, compared to two in five expats worldwide.

Half (50%) of expats in Italy said they were dissatisfied with their career prospects and 58% rated the state of the economy negatively. They also complained about the quality of life where it was rated in 49th place in the overall list. and ease of settling in 47th place.

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