Taiwan No. 1 spot for expats living abroad: 2019 Expat Insider Survey

Taiwan reclaims 2016 rank as best place to live for expats

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Kaohsiung skyline (Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Kaohsiung skyline (Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan has once again reclaimed its No. 1 rank as the best place to live according to expats, up from second place in last year’s Expat Insider 2019 Survey.

The last time Taiwan took the top spot in the survey, which analyzes quality of life abroad, was in 2016, the first year it was included. Since then it has maintained a spot in the top five every year.

Coming in just behind Taiwan is regional neighbor Vietnam, indicating the Southeast Asian country as an increasingly attractive destination for people resettling abroad. The third spot in the survey went to Portugal, which has consistently scored well with expats living there.

According to Expat Insider, around 86 percent of expats surveyed in Taiwan have a positive view of their life here. According to respondents, major draws to the country are the friendliness of its people, its affordable cost of living, and its healthcare.

The top ten list for 2019 is as follows.

1. Taiwan
2. Vietnam
3. Portugal
4. Mexico
5. Spain
6. Singapore
7. Bahrain
8. Ecuador
9. Malaysia
10. The Czech Republic

With respondents living in 182 countries or territories, the Expat Insider survey consists of several indices: quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance, cost of living, and family life. Taiwan scored high marks in all categories.

Taiwan ranked third overall on the quality of life index, behind only the Iberian countries of Portugal (No. 1) and Spain (No. 2). Taiwan’s highest marks in the quality of life sub-indices were in travel and transportation, health and well being, and personal happiness.

Out of all the countries surveyed for ease of settling in, Taiwan ranked at No. 14. On the sub-indices for the category, Taiwan ranked as the No. 4 friendliest country for expats after Oman, Mexico, and Portugal. Taiwan also ranked highly in the feeling at home index and the finding friends index, but not as high on the language index (No. 38).


Keelung Miaokou night market (Taiwan Tourism Bureau photo)

Somewhat surprisingly, survey data put Taiwan at No. 8 in the ranking of best places to work abroad for expats, with Vietnam at No. 1 as the only country in the Asia-Pacific to beat Taiwan in the category. On the sub-index of career prospects and satisfaction, Taiwan ranked No. 5 along with a modest No. 14 rank in the work and leisure sub-index. As for economy and job security, Taiwan still has some catching up to do.

For the personal finance index, Taiwan scored No. 6, just ahead of Malaysia, and was beaten again by Vietnam (No. 1) among regional neighbors. For the cost of living index, Taiwan was No. 11, behind Vietnam (No. 2) and Malaysia (No. 7).

As for the family life category, Expat Insider explains that too few expat parents in Taiwan responded to the survey, so the island was unranked for lack of sufficient data.

Explore more of the results of the 2019 Expat Insider Survey on the official webpage.


Sanxia Old Street, New Taipei (Taiwan Tourism Bureau Photo)