Ecuador Remains Favorite Country for Expats

Ecuador again tops the list of favorite expat destinations in the InterNations survey.

Cuenca, Ecuador

Ecuador, where the sun shines throughout the year, is the favorite for expats, according to a survey conducted by InterNations. This is for the second time in succession that Ecuador has claimed top spot in this global ranking of favorite expat destinations.

Among the reasons for the popularity of the destination were the cheap cost of living, good weather and top-class yet affordable healthcare. It is not the first time that Ecuador – with a population of 15 million – has topped an expat life poll. Last year, expats who visit the International Living website voted it the best place to retire overseas.

A networking group for expats, InterNations asked expats how welcome they felt in their adopted country, how friendly they found it, and whether they found it easy to make friends and communicate in the local language.

Ecuador scored well for leisure activity options, ease of settling in and feeling welcome. But not all of them appeared happy with job security in the country. Many are also not satisfied with their personal safety. However just about every expat surveyed said he is satisfied with the living conditions in Ecuador, with most describing the country as an affordable place to live.

According to InterNations, the South American country has the highest percentage of expats in the lowest income groups. What was interesting was that a stunning 94 percent of foreigners in Ecuador said they were pleased with local leisure options.

Mexico is the second most favorite country for expats, with eight out of 10 saying they feel at home and seven in 10 saying it is easy to make local friends. Although some expats said it is hard to live in Mexico without learning Spanish, more than six out of 10 expats in Mexico appeared to speak it at least fairly well.

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“Mexico climbs from third place in last year’s country ranking to second place this year. Survey respondents praise the country for how easy it is to settle down and find friends there. Most of all, expats value the friendliness of the Mexican people,” said InterNations in a blog post.

While 76% of our respondents are generally satisfied with their financial situation, many of them are unhappy with their personal safety. But almost every respondent appeared to like the Mexican weather.

Panama is another Latin American country on the list of expats’ favorite countries.

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