Top countries for expats: U.S. drops in new ranking

Marsaxlokk Fishing Village, Malta

The top three nations that the world’s millions of expatriates prefer to move to are Bahrain, Costa Rica and Mexico, according to a new survey by InterNations, a global network for expatriates.

They replace last year’s top three destinations: Taiwan, Malta and Ecuador.

About 13,000 people in 188 countries took part in this year’s survey.

The ranking of the 65 top destinations for expats was based on more than 40 factors, including family life and finances.

Participants said they chose Bahrain because of the ease of settling in there and its numerous career opportunities.

Costa Rica made it to the top because of the ease of settling in, family life and quality of life.

Despite concerns about safety and security, Mexico made the top of the list for its climate, welcoming people and affordable cost of living.

Last year, the USA ranked in 26th place. This year it dropped to the bottom half of rankings, partly because fewer expats rated the political stability of the USA positively.

Participants said they viewed the political stability of Russia and Kuwait in a more positive light.

U.S. expats were particularly attracted to destinations such as Mexico and Costa Rica.

Other destinations that fared well last year dropped down the list. Australia, for instance, fell as many as 27 places.

Two destinations that reappeared on the list are Cambodia and Myanmar.

Portugal jumped 23 places in the Quality of Life index.

There are an estimated 56 or 57 million expats worldwide. Many said they moved for their careers, for love or just for adventure.