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Portugal ranked again as the best European country for expats.

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Vast, white sandy beach and Obidos mouth lagoon at Foz do Arelho, Portugal
The beach at Foz do Arelho, at a few minutes from the holiday villa Casa do Lago

Portugal is a world champion for the quality of life for expatriates - those who live outside their home country (for work, study or other reasons).

The annual survey of InterNations, a worldwide expat community, highlights Portugal in several categories - the country is once again the best country in Europe in the overall ranking, as it had been last year, but this time it rises to the 1st of subcategory “quality of life”.

But despite the “laid back lifestyle,” as one British emigrant points out, the Expat Insider 2019 study also includes categories where Portugal has room to improve if it wants to rise from 3rd to 1st place in the overall world ranking - it would have to surpass Taiwan and Vietnam , which occupy the top two places this year.

Besides being the country with the best quality of life in the world, Portugal maintains the first place of best country for foreigners if we only include for the countries of Europe (which it had last year). In the overall ranking, where Portugal is third, there was also an improvement: in 2018 Portugal was sixth, so it rose three places.

Regarding their careers, expatriates residing in Portugal are graduates (39%) or doctorates (7%), and those who work full time (only 29%) have a working time of about 40 hours per week - 14% work part time and 11% are looking for work.

About the reason for moving to Portugal, expatriates say they came looking for a better quality of life (24%), some wanted to retire in another country (15%) and about 10% say they moved out of love .

According to the Observer, a Lithuanian emigrant considered that in Portugal “the people are very welcoming, there are many things to do and see, it is very beautiful and the weather is mild.” For her the country “has everything”. “I remember that before I came here I had a list of what I wanted from a new city where I wanted to live and when I found out I had an opportunity I saw that the country met all the requirements,” he says.

Portugal is also one of the best for leisure activities (2nd) in this subcategory which helps to calculate the quality of life index - over four out of five migrants (83%) are satisfied with socialization and leisure activities available against 65% globally. Personal happiness is also ranked 2nd.

Still within the quality of life index are health and well-being (7th), safety (8th), digital life (16th) and travel and transport (16th).

The ease of moving to the country is the second best Portuguese result (4th) - in this index the subcategory of “feeling at home” is even first.

The remaining subcategories are mostly in the top 10 and include the friendliness of the Portuguese (3rd), the ease of making friends (10th) and the language (21st).

The cost of living index in Portugal ranks 8th out of the 64 countries studied and in the personal finance index Portugal does not go beyond 15th.

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