Bahrain leapt from 19th place last year to nab the title of expats’ favorite country in 2017.

Cailey Rizzo
September 07, 2017

The expats have voted and Bahrain is the best country in the world to live.

The annual Expat Insider survey — which questions 12,500 respondents of 166 different nationalities, living in 188 countries or territories around the world — released some atypical results this week, including shake-ups for a number of different countries.

Bahrain leapt from 19th place last year to nab the title of expats’ favorite country in 2017. The country ranked highly for its work-life balance, ability to make residents feel quickly welcomed, and quality of family life.

Related: The Countries Where Expats Make the Most Money

Runners up for expats’ favorite country included Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, and Portugal. The countries all ranked highly for their weather, cost of living, and ease with which expats can form connections.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, not much changed in 2017. Kuwait, Greece, and Nigeria all ranked among the least favorite places for expats — and they’ve all placed among the bottom three since 2015. All the countries have been plagued by turbulent economics and politics, affecting quality of life for expats.

However some countries that typically rate highly on the survey fell further down the list this year. The reputations of both the U.S. and the U.K. slipped considerably since last year’s rating, perhaps due in part to the 2016 presidential and Brexit votes. In 2014, the United States was ranked the fifth best country by expats and the U.K. was 21st. This year, those numbers were 43 and 54.

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