Thailand ranked among the 10 best countries for expats

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Annual survey reveals Thailand is growing in popularity with expats

Thailand has been ranked among the top 10 places for expats to live, according to the annual Expat Insider Survey carried out by InterNations.

The latest rankings see Thailand move up to 6th place from 8th place in 2022 and 14th place in 2021.

Each year, InterNations, a global community for people who live and work abroad, conducts its Expat Insider survey.

Now in its tenth year, the survey quizzes over 12,000 expats to generate a ranking of 53 countries across the world. It analyzes factors such as quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance, and more.

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InterNations, the world’s largest expat community with more than 4.8 million members, ranked Mexico (1st), followed by Spain, Panama, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Bahrain, and Portugal (10th) as the best destinations for expats in 2023.

The worst destinations for expats were found to be Kuwait (53rd), Norway, Türkiye, South Korea, Germany, South Africa, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, and Japan (44th).

According to the survey’s findings, Thailand ranked 6th place overall and came in 1st in the category of finding affordable housing.

The report stated that “for expats, it is easy to afford a comfortable life in Thailand, and they are happy with the leisure options and the friendliness of the local residents.”

Thailand was described as the “perfect place for thrifty expats.”

The survey found that expats’ money goes a long way in Thailand, with 76% rating the general cost of living positively.

Nearly nine in ten expats (86%) say that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough for a comfortable life in Thailand, compared to 73% globally. Therefore, it is hardly a surprise that the country ranks 4th in the Personal Finance Index. Affordability also extends to the Expat Essentials Index, with 76% saying that housing is affordable, double the global average.

However, in the Quality of Life Index, Thailand ranks 30th for the affordability of healthcare. Nonetheless, 72% of expats are happy with their financial situation, compared to a global average of 58%.

The survey also found that while Thailand is a great destination for leisure, safety remains a concern for many. Ranking 7th for its leisure options, Thailand impresses expats with its culinary variety and dining options. The culture and nightlife also receive high praise. However, expats are less pleased with the opportunities for recreational sports in Thailand.

The environment and climate in Thailand also pose concerns, with only 35% of respondents happy with the air quality and 43% believing that the government does not support environmental protection policies.

Despite these concerns, expats appreciate the friendliness of Thai people, with the majority (82%) describing them as friendly. The survey also revealed that expats feel at home in Thailand and are satisfied with their social life.

Some of Thailand’s worst rankings came in the Working Abroad Index, where the country ranked 39th. Expats expressed dissatisfaction with Thailand’s business culture, saying that it does not encourage creativity or independent work. However, many are happy with the work-life balance and feel fairly paid for their work.

According to the survey data, expats in Thailand are typically male with an average age of 53.7 years old. The top nationalities of expats in Thailand who responded to the survey were British, US American, and Australian.

Thailand’s rise in the rankings for expat living suggests the country continues to appeal to those seeking an affordable and comfortable lifestyle.

While there are areas for improvement, such as healthcare affordability and working conditions, Thailand’s welcoming atmosphere, leisure options, and friendly locals continue to attract expats from around the world.

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