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The Top 5 Destinations for Working Abroad in 2021

With more employers allowing remote work these days, relocating to an exciting new place is an appealing idea for many. But where are the best global destinations for work?

Photo of a young woman working in a café.

Young woman working in a café.

iStock.com/vichie81

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Since 2014, InterNations, a global networking community for expats, has conducted the Expat Insider survey. In 2021, over 12,000 people representing 174 nationalities shared their views on everything from the cost of living to quality of life in 59 destinations. The survey gives a comprehensive snapshot of expat life today — and Working Abroad is one of the main categories.

Here are the top 5 places where expats were happiest working abroad in 2021:

Taiwan, the overall winner for 2021, consistently ranks highly in the Working Abroad Index:

  • 83% of expats rate their job security favorably (vs. 61% worldwide), two in five (40%) are even completely satisfied (vs. only 24% globally).
  • 85% are also happy with the state of the local economy (vs. 62% globally).
  • 41% couldn't be any happier with their job, which is almost twice the global average (22%).
  • 74% are satisfied with their working hours (vs. 66% globally).
  • On average, they also work fewer hours: 39.9 hours a week in a full-time position (vs. 43.2 hours globally).

New Zealand comes in second place in 2021, with especially impressive results for expats' work-life balance:

  • 83% are generally satisfied with their work-life balance (vs. 66% globally).
  • 39% are even completely happy with their work-life balance (vs. 25% globally).
  • Over four in five (81%) rate their job security favorably (vs. 61% globally).
  • Close to 20 percentage points above the global average also rate the local career opportunities positively (64% vs. 45% globally).

Since 2017, Czechia has consistently ranked in the top 3 of the Working Abroad Index, and 2021 is no exception:

  • 82% of expats are generally satisfied with their working hours (vs. 66% globally).
  • Expats in full-time positions in Czechia work an average of 41.5 hours per week, compared to a global average of 43.2 hours.
  • 80% are also happy with their work-life balance (vs. 66% globally).
  • Three-quarters (75%) rate the state of the local economy positively (vs. 62% globally).
  • An impressive 93% of working expats in Czechia say they can do so remotely (vs. 78% around the world).

China receives mixed results in the Expat Insider 2021 survey but performs best in the Working Abroad Index (4th):

  • 59% of expats are happy with their local career opportunities (vs. 45% globally).
  • 87% are satisfied with the state of the local economy (vs. 62% globally).
  • A higher-than-average share of expats is also happy with their job security (68% vs. 61% globally).

Denmark ranks 37th out of 59 destinations overall, but it receives its best result in the Working Abroad Index (5th):

  • It places first in the Work & Leisure subcategory for the fourth time in five years.
  • 80% of respondents are happy with their work-life balance (vs. 66% globally).
  • A further 87% rate the local economy positively (vs. 62% globally).
  • But: Only 60% are happy with their job security (vs. 61% globally).
  • 65% are satisfied with their job in general (vs. 68% globally).

Find out more in the complete Expat Insider 2021 report.

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