Cheaper living cost, pleasant climate, friendly people, and affordable healthcare are among the factors keeping expats happy in these countries.
The survey asked expats how welcome they felt in their respective country, how the weather and financial condition is, and whether they found it easy to communicate in the local language.
Ranked third on the index, Ecuador has long been a favorite for expats. It slid to 25th place in 2017, largely due to low oil prices and the devastating 2016 earthquake.
A slight recovery in the oil price seems to have helped — in this year’s survey, 83% of respondents expressed satisfaction with their financial situation. Nevertheless, the South American country still ranks low in subcategories, such as digital life and personal safety.
Ranked fourth on the index, Mexico scores highly for its friendly population, while the low cost of living is its major attraction, with the report noting that 82% considered the living cost a potential benefit before moving.
And around 40% of respondents cited financial reasons as a motivation for relocating — more than double the global average of 16%. A third of the expats living in Mexico are very happy with their financial situation.
Colombia, ranked ninth on the index, has successfully shed its reputation as a dangerous country and is increasingly becoming more modern as it transitions away from its agricultural roots. Pleasant weather and the growing economy are working in its favor.
“Many might not have realized the impressive economic progress Colombia has made over the past few decades,” stated Internations in a blogpost.
Ranked seventh, Costa Rica has slid from second place in the index since last year. Friendly people and the scenic landscape are the reasons that motivate foreigners to settle in this country. “If you’re looking to make friends, Costa Rica is the place to go,” stated InterNations in its report last year.
Although a bit expensive compared to its peers in the region, Costa Rica offers “quality of life” and much better personal safety.