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Taiwan best place to live for expats in latest survey (update)

2016/08/30 11:13:04

Taipei, Aug. 30 (CNA) Taiwan has been named the world's best place to live for expatriates in the latest InterNations Expat Insider Survey, impressing foreigners living in the country with its quality of health care and the ability to make a good living.

In addition to replacing Ecuador atop the overall ranking of 67 countries, Taiwan was ranked among the top ten for every one of the five individual indexes, according to the annual survey.

"Taiwan holds first place in the Quality of Life and Personal Finance indexes, impressing with the quality and affordability of its health care and the enviable financial situation of expats living there," InterNations said.

Taiwan ranked second in the survey's "Working Abroad" index, with over one-third of expats in Taiwan (34 percent) completely satisfied with their jobs, more than double the global average of 16 percent.

"This small island country also holds second place for overall satisfaction with life abroad, with 93 percent voicing their general contentment," behind only Spain, the survey showed.

In the other two main categories, Taiwan finished 10th in the "Ease of Settling In" index and eighth in the "Family Life" index.

Founded in 2007, InterNations is the world's largest network for expats with a total of 2.3 million members. The InterNations network has a presence in communities of 390 cities worldwide.

The Expat Insider survey, conducted for the third time in 2016, included Taiwan among the countries covered for the first time.

It polled more than 14,000 respondents representing 174 nationalities and 191 countries or territories, and the respondents talked about their experiences in moving, living, and working in the 67 destinations.

InterNations said that a majority of expats in Taiwan planned to stay there for more than three years (64 percent), and many of them (36 percent in total) even considered the possibility of living on the island forever.

In a report on the InterNations survey, Forbes cited an expat from Sweden who has lived in Taiwan for almost a decade as saying that the country made him feel at home.

"Taiwan is one of the best hidden gems of the Asia Pacific," Martin Linstrom, general manager of IKEA in Taiwan, told Forbes, "It is very easy to feel at home here."

Lindstrom told Forbes that Taiwan has a beautiful countryside with "scenic mountains and great opportunities for hiking or biking," and he said he also enjoyed the local cuisine and amazing coffee shops.

Most importantly, Lindstrom said, Taiwan has really friendly people.

Lindstrom's comments echoed the InterNations survey, which showed that Taiwan did best in terms of the friendly attitude toward families with children, with 58 percent of the respondents saying that Taiwan in this regard was very good, compared with an average of 39 percent worldwide.

"Looking at these results, it comes as no surprise that one in six expats living in Taiwan has entered the country seeking -- and obviously finding -- a better standard of living," the survey said.

Following Taiwan, Malta ranked as the second best place for expatriates in the survey ahead of Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Australia, Austria, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic.

On the bottom of the survey were Kuwait (67th), Greece (66th), Nigeria (65th), Brazil (64th), Saudi Arabia (63rd), Egypt (62nd), Mozambique (61st), Qatar (60th), Italy (59th), and Tanzania (58th).

(By Tony Liao, Jay Chen and Frances Huang)
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