There are so many things that can make or break a travel adventure: weather, planning, circumstance and of course… people. Travel anecdotes and highlights always seem to be sprinkled with phrases like “and then we met the nicest people!” yet when picking destinations, it’s rarely taken into account. Luckily, a study has come out ranking countries by their friendliness, and the ease of settling in for foreigners who move there.
The Expat Insider 2016 index by InterNations, surveyed 14,000 respondents representing 174 nationalities to gauge their perceptions of a nation’s friendliness based on their own experiences of living and working abroad. There were four pillars that informed how easy it is to settle into a country: feeling welcome, friendliness, finding friends, and language. Shockingly, Australia didn’t place in the top ten! Caaaaarrrrnnn.
Some more surprising data from the report? Taiwan, China is the new Malta, apparently, having ranked super highly among migrants and travellers this year despite not having placed well in the same survey last year.[related_articles]27556,4934,30008[/related_articles]
Other standouts were Mexico, which ranked fourth in friendliness, second in feeling welcome, and first in finding friends, and Costa Rica and Uganda also placed well across the categories.
Some of the hardest places to make new friends are Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Qatar and – interestingly – the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, which regularly top ‘happiest countries‘ and ‘standard of living‘ lists. Judging from the above map, Europe in general seems to be giving the rest of the world a hint of the cold shoulder.
Interestingly, of the one million Australians living overseas, the majority of them can be found in The United Kingdom, The United States, and Greece – none of which ranked particularly high for friendliness coming in at 35th, 21st, and 27th respectively.
Here’s the data at large.
So if you’re looking to make the leap and move overseas, where should you head to to find new friends? Vamonos a Mexico![h/t Independent]
Read the full report from InterNations here.