Tuesday, 15 October 2019
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Expat Insider Survey 2019 - Expat life in Israel.

Israel ranks 14th out of 64 counties for quality of expat life in Israel, in the latest Expat Insider Survey.

Coming in 14th out of 64 destinations in the Expat Insider 2019 survey, Israel reaches its best rank ever. Compared to last year, it gained ground in all indices of the survey and places among the top 10 countries in the Working Abroad (10th) and Quality of Life Index (9th). In fact, expats are very happy with the available leisure activities in Israel (88% vs. 75% globally), with one expat from the USA highlighting that there is “always something going on” in Tel Aviv. Ranking fourth in the Health & Well-Being subcategory, expats are also happy with the affordability of healthcare (84% vs. 55% globally) and the quality of medical care (88% vs. 65% globally) — 51% and 43%, respectively, even give the best possible rating for these factors. In terms of working abroad, Israel gains twelve ranks in one year (from 22nd to 10th): expats are, for example, more satisfied with their jobs overall (78% in 2019 vs. 65% in 2018) and rank the country second in the world for this factor now, only beaten by Vietnam.

On the downside, Israel is among the world’s worst countries for cost of living for the sixth year in a row (61st out of 64 in 2019): close to two-thirds (64%) find the general cost of living high, which is close to twice the global average (34%). However, Israel climbs up 17 places in the Personal Finance Index since 2018 (from 64th to 47th), making it out of the bottom 10 countries of this index for the first time. Close to three in five expats (59%) are happy with their financial situation in 2019 (vs. 54% in 2018), and 41% say that their disposable household income is more than they need to cover their daily life (vs. 29% in 2018).

expat life in israel

How expat life in Israel ranks against other countries?

If you are considering moving from Israel and relocating to one of these countries, this is what you can expect;

Mexico

Mexico is the world’s easiest country to settle in as an expat, and more than four in five expats (84%) feel at home in the local culture (vs. 60% globally). Expats do not only consider Mexicans to be very friendly (92% vs. 68% globally), they also find it easy to make friends with them (80% vs. 42% globally). Mexico also ranks first in the world for socializing and leisure activities (84% positive ratings vs. 65% globally). “People like to ask me questions about my life,” shares an expat from the USA, “I do not feel alone here.”

Regarding personal finance, Mexico ranks fourth worldwide, with 78% being satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally). On the other hand, the country performs poorly in the Safety & Security subcategory (54th), with expats’ personal safety being a main concern: three times the global average report negative feelings about this factor (27% vs. 9% globally).
The same is true for expats raising children in Mexico: 36% are worried about their children’s safety, four times the global average (9%). However, overall, Mexico has improved its performance in the Family Life Index to rank 16th out of 36 destinations in 2019. This is mainly due to better ratings for the availability of childcare and education (6th), the cost of childcare and education (12th), and the quality of education (13th).

Australia

Australia falls five places to rank 17th out of 64 countries in the Expat Insider 2019 survey. It mainly lost ground in terms of quality of life (8th to 15th), working abroad (13th to 19th), and personal finance (40th to 52nd). In fact, 19% of expats are dissatisfied with their financial situation (vs. 14% in 2018). Additionally, close to three in ten expats (27%) are not satisfied with healthcare costs in Australia, with one Russian expat bemoaning the “unaffordable healthcare for expats”. A main contributor to Australia’s decline in the Quality of Life Index is its worse rating in political stability (17th to 27th). The percentage of expats dissatisfied with the political stability in the country has more than doubled compared to the previous year (11% in 2019 vs. 5% in 2018).

On the other hand, Australia claims the top position worldwide regarding the available of leisure options. Over nine in ten expats (91%) are pleased with the leisure activities on offer (vs. 75% globally), and 60% even find them very good (vs. 36% globally). Meanwhile, expat parents rank Australia 12th out of 36 destinations in the Family Life Index: they are particularly happy with the available leisure options for children (90% satisfied vs. 75% globally) and the available education options (67% satisfied vs. 53% globally).

Canada

Canada receives its best ratings in the Family Life Index, ranking 7th out of 36 countries worldwide. Over nine in ten expat parents (92%) are satisfied with their children’s general well-being (vs. 81% globally), only Spain (93%) and Finland (95%) score higher for this factor worldwide. Additionally, Canada ranks in second place worldwide for the availability of education options. Close to seven in ten expat parents (67%) agree that options for their children are widely available (vs. 53% worldwide), with Canada following only behind Finland (76%).  Additionally, Canada ranks 11th out of 64 destinations in the Quality of Life Index, with a particularly strong performance in the Digital Life subcategory (5th). For example, close to all expats (96%) find it easy to pay without cash (vs. 79% globally) and over three-quarters (77%) even say it could not be any easier (vs. 50% globally).

While Canada has fallen seven places in the Working Abroad Index (from 15th to 22nd), expats are still more satisfied than the average with their working life. More than three in five (61%) are rate their career prospects positively (vs. 55% globally), 77% are happy with the state of the economy (vs. 63% globally), and 67% are satisfied with their working hours (vs. 62% globally).
Coming in 42nd place out of 64 destinations in the Expat Insider 2019 survey, France has lost eight ranks within one year (34th out of 68 in 2018). One of the reasons is the country’s drop of 16 ranks for political stability (35th in 2019): Only 59% of expats rate this factor positively (vs. 61% globally), and just 15% claim that it is very good (vs. 30% globally). However, thanks to its top results in the Health & Wellbeing subcategory (8th), France keeps performing above average in the Quality of Life Index (18th). About four in five expats find healthcare in France affordable (79% vs. 55% globally) and rate the quality of medical care positively (84% vs. 65% globally).

France

France ranks a mediocre 17th out of 36 countries in the Family Life Index but stands out for the affordability of childcare and education (8th): almost four in five expats (78%) agree that education is easy to afford (vs. 49% globally). However, France does not only rank a poor 31st out of 36 countries for the friendliness towards families with children, but 25% of expats in France also think that the local population is generally unfriendly (vs. 16% worldwide). This may be one reason why about half of them (46%) also struggle to make local friends (vs. 39% globally). The language barrier may play another crucial role here as 74% of expats find it hard to live in France without speaking the local language (vs. 40% globally). “If I was fluent in French, my life would be far easier,” explains an expat from Canada.

United States of America

The USA remains in a below-average 47th place out of 64 countries in the Expat Insider 2019 survey. Over seven in ten expats (71%) find that healthcare in the USA is not affordable (vs. 26% globally), which makes the USA the worst-rated country worldwide for this factor. The country also performs badly in the Family Life Index, ranking 32nd place out of 36 countries. With over half the expat parents (55%) being unhappy with the costs of education (vs. 35% globally), it is hardly surprising that one French expat says: “If you have kids, their education will cost a fortune.” What is more, the USA ranks last worldwide for the affordability of childcare, with over seven in ten expat parents (73%) rating costs here negatively (vs. 40% globally).
Conversely, the USA performs well in the Digital Life subcategory, ranking 7th out of 64 countries. Having a fast internet connection is not an issue, with 90% of expats having easy access to high-speed internet at home (vs. 75% globally). Moreover, 70% are happy with the availability of administrative and government services online (vs. 55% worldwide). Expats in the USA also appreciate their career prospects, for which the USA ranks fifth worldwide. However, the country still only ranks 40th out of 64 countries in the Working Abroad Index overall, its worst result in this index so far. Expats are mainly dissatisfied with their work-life balance (28% negative ratings vs. 21% globally) and their job security (27% vs. 21% globally).

China

Ranking 50th out of 64 destinations in the Expat Insider 2019 survey, China ranks among the world’s worst destinations for family life (29th out of 36), quality of life (55th out of 64), and the ease of settling in (58th out of 64). For the latter, it even lands among the bottom 10 for the sixth year in a row: expats struggle to feel at home in the local culture (59th), settle down in the country (60th), and get used to the local culture (62nd). In fact, 28% say that culture shock was one of their main concerns before moving to China (vs. 14% globally).
Within the Quality of Life Index, China ranks last in the Digital Life subcategory. Expats are unhappy with the restricted access to online services (81% unhappy vs. 9% globally) and find it hard to get high-speed internet access at home (36% unhappy vs. 15% globally). On the other hand, 93% find it easy to pay without cash (vs. 79% globally), ranking China ninth worldwide for this factor. The only other factor in the Quality of Life Index that China ranks among the top 10 for is the transportation infrastructure (9th): nine in ten expats (90%) are satisfied with this factor (vs. 68% globally).

Expats are very concerned with the quality of the environment (63rd), with over three-quarters (76%) giving this factor a negative rating (vs. 20% globally). A quarter of expat parents (25%) also worries about their children’s health (vs. 10% globally). As a US American points out: “Air, food safety, and environment issues are hard to deal with, especially if you have small children.” On the bright side, expat parents are happy with the friendly attitude towards families with children (12th out of 36) and the quality of education (15th). China receives its best ratings in the Cost of Living (25th out of 64) and Personal Finance Indices (12th out of 64): 65% say that their disposable household income is more than enough to cover daily expenses (vs. 49% globally).
Coming in 52nd out of 64 destinations in the Expat Insider 2019 survey, South Africa ranks among the worst destinations for personal finance (56th), working abroad (57th), and quality of life (57th). Safety and security is a major concern for expats, with the country placing 63rd worldwide: 36% rate the peacefulness negatively (vs. 10% globally), 51% are unhappy with the country’s political stability (vs. 17% globally), and 63% worry about their personal safety (vs. 9% globally). “I miss the freedom of going anywhere at any time without worrying about my security,” states a British expat.

South Africa

South Africa is not a top scorer for digital life, either (49th): only 26% of expats think government services are easily available online (vs. 55% globally), and 27% struggle with getting access to a high-speed internet connection at home (vs. 15% globally). However, paying without cash is not an issue for over nine in ten (91% vs. 79% globally). While the quality of medical care seems to satisfy expats in South Africa (75% happy vs. 65% globally), it does not seem to be affordable (37% unhappy vs. 26% globally). On the bright side, South Africa ranks 8th out of 64 in the Leisure Options subcategory: 80% are satisfied with the available leisure activities in general (vs. 75% globally), and 89% are happy with the climate and weather (vs. 61% globally).
Within the Working Abroad Index, South Africa ranks worst in the Economy & Job Security subcategory (60th): almost six in ten expats (59%) rate the state of the economy negatively (vs. 18% globally). What is more, just 44% are happy with their career prospects (vs. 55% globally).

South Africa’s result in the Personal Finance Index has also declined noticeably (from 38th to 56th): fewer than three out of five (59%) are happy with their financial situation (vs. 64% worldwide), and 34% think their disposable household income is not enough to cover all expenses (vs. 23% globally). The cost of living does not seem to be the issue, though: 58% rate this factor positively (vs. 47% globally), ranking the country 26th out of 64.

Argentina

Ranking a poor 45th place out of 64 countries in the Quality of Life Index, Argentina is one of the most dangerous destinations in the Expat Insider 2019 survey (61st out of 64 for safety and security): four times the global average of expats rate their personal safety negatively (36% vs. 9% globally), and 60% worry about the country’s political stability (vs. 17% globally).
When it comes to personal finances, Argentina comes in second to last, only better than Greece. Nearly three in ten expats (29%) are dissatisfied with their financial situation (vs. 18% globally), and 34% report that their disposable household income is not enough to cover daily costs (vs. 23% globally.

Argentina’s performance in the Working Abroad Index (61st out of 64) is also poor, with the state of the economy a main concern for expats: more than four in five (85%) rate this factor negatively (vs. 18% globally).  However, the country at least seems to offer plenty of leisure activities (9th) and is easy to settle in (16th). Almost three in five expats (59%) agree that it is easy to make local friends (vs. 42% worldwide), and 79% find that Argentinians have a friendly attitude towards foreign residents (vs. 65% globally).

Russia

Russia has fallen into the bottom 10 countries for expats for the first time since 2015, ranking 56th out of 64 destinations in the Expat Insider 2019 survey. It ranks among the worst destinations for family life (28th out of 36) and the ease of settling in (56th out of 64). Especially the language is a major obstacle for expats who place Russia last in the world in this subcategory, behind even Japan (62nd) and China (63rd). Only 14% find it easy to learn the local language (vs. 37% globally), but 77% consider it difficult to live in the country without speaking the language (vs. 40% globally). “The language is too difficult to learn if you work full time,” claims a Swiss expat. Maybe that is the reason why expats also find it hard to find friends (37th) and settle down in the country (57th).

Family life in Russia is on a downward spiral — from 23rd out of 50 countries in 2018 to 28th out of 36 in 2019 — with the most dramatic drop regarding childcare options (from 15th to 31st). Just 56% of expat parents are happy with this factor in 2019, compared to 74% in 2018. Russia has also dropped for the availability of childcare and education (from 19th to 28th) and the options for children’s education (25th to 31st).

The Quality of Life (50th) and Working Abroad Indices (54th) are two other areas in which Russia does not perform very well. The country only ranks 49th for job security and 56th for work and leisure, with 32% of expats dissatisfied with their work-life balance (vs. 21% globally). Additionally, nearly two out of five expats in Russia (39%) rate the state of the economy negatively (vs. 18% globally).

On the bright side, expats seem to be managing slightly better financially than in 2018, with the country ranking 34th in the Personal Finance Index (up from 42nd). Over one in five expats (21%) think that their disposable income is a lot more than enough in 2019 (vs. 11% globally). On top of this, Russia records its best results yet in the Cost of Living Index (22nd): less than one out five expats (18%) rate the cost of living negatively, compared to over one-third of expats globally (34%).

The United Kingdom

The UK ranks 58th out of 64 countries in the Expat Insider 2019 survey admit ongoing Brexit uncertainty: it has fallen 14 places in terms of political stability, now ranking among the ten worst countries in the world for this factor (57th). Over two in five expats (42%) rate the political stability negatively (vs. 17% globally). As one German expat puts it: “Brexit makes our future uncertain.” In addition, the UK receives its worst ratings ever in all subcategories of the Working Abroad Index: it ranks 45th for economy and job security, which is 29 places lower than in the Expat Insider 2016 survey before the Brexit referendum (16th out of 67).

In 2019, nearly one-quarter of expats in the UK (23%) are unhappy with the state of the economy (vs. 8% negative ratings in 2016), 21% are unsatisfied with their career prospects (vs. 12% in 2016), and 23% worry about their job security (vs. 17% in 2016).

Expats also struggle to settle in, with the UK ranking 45th in the Ease of Settling In Index. Nearly three in ten expats (28%) say that Brits are unfriendly towards foreign residents (vs. 19% globally). It might be no surprise then that the UK ranks third from the bottom for personal happiness (62nd), only ahead of Denmark (63rd) and Kuwait (64%). Just 66% of expats are generally happy with their life in the UK (vs. 74% worldwide).

Brazil

In the Expat Insider 2019 survey, Brazil comes in last worldwide in the Safety & Security subcategory: 41% do not find the country peaceful (vs. 10% globally), 61% do not feel safe (vs. 9% globally), and 53% are dissatisfied with the political stability (vs. 17% globally). An expat from New Zealand describes having the “underlying feeling of people always living in fear” in Brazil.
While Brazilians seem to be very friendly towards families with children (13th out of 36 countries), Brazil still comes in second to last in the Family Life Index overall (35th), only ahead of Turkey. It is rated the worst destination for family well-being, with more than half the expat parents (54%) concerned about their children’s safety (vs. 9% globally). The quality of education is also rated negatively by 38%, more than double the global average (16%).

While Brazil also ranks low for working abroad (58th out of 64), it comes in 37th place for the ease of settling in. More than four in five expats (83%) find the Brazilians friendly (vs. 68% globally), though nearly three-quarters (74%) disagree that it is easy to live in the country without speaking the local language (vs. 40% globally).

With its “economy in dire straits” and “no perspectives”, as a Russian expat describes it, Italy hits rock bottom for working abroad in 2019 (64th out of 64 countries). Less than two in five expats (16%) rate the state of Italy’s economy positively (vs. 63% globally), while 39% worry about their job security (vs. 21% globally). Half of the respondents (50%) are also dissatisfied with the career prospects (vs. 24% globally), and a third (33%) are generally unhappy with their job (vs. 19% worldwide). Italy also ranks in the bottom 3 countries in the Personal Finance Index (62nd), with 33% of expats being concerned about their financial situation (vs. 18% globally). While 85% of expats appreciate the good weather and climate (vs. 61% globally), Italy still performs mediocre in terms of quality of life overall (49th) due to of its results for digital life (57th) and the country’s political stability (58th). In fact, 48% of expats are unhappy with the latter factor, compared to just 17% of expats worldwide. Expats also struggle to settle down in the country (56th), and two-thirds (67%) find it hard to live there without speaking the local language (vs. 40% globally). “People only speak Italian and are not interested in foreigners,” says a German expat.

About the InterNations Expat Survey

For its annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations asked 20,259 expats representing 182 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories to provide information on various aspects of expat life, as well as their gender, age, and nationality. Participants were asked to rate up to 48 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasized the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these aspects and considered both emotional topics as well as more factual aspects with equal weight.  The respondents’ ratings of the individual factors were then bundled in various combinations for a total of 17 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up six topical indices: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, Personal Finance, and Cost of Living. Except for the latter, all indices were further averaged together with expats' general satisfaction with their life in order to rank 64 expat destinations around the world. In 2019, the top 10 are Taiwan, Vietnam, Portugal, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, Bahrain, Ecuador, Malaysia, and Czechia.  For a country to be featured in the indices and consequently in the overall ranking, a sample size of at least 75 survey participants per destination was necessary. The only exception to this is the Family Life  Index, where a sample size of at least 40 respondents raising children abroad was required. In 2019, 64 and 36 countries respectively met these requirements. However, in most countries the sample size
exceeded 100 participants.

 

If you'd like more information about this and other surveys or would like to contact InterNations, here are their details:

Caroline Harsch
Media Spokesperson
InterNations GmbH
Schwanthalerstrasse 39
80336 Munich, Germany
Tel: +49 (0)89 461 3324 87
Fax: +49 (0)89 461 3324 99
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Homepage: https://www.internations.org/press