Survey: Israel 14th best country for expats despite high costs

Expats in Israel are particularly happy with the high quality of life and their working life, but struggle with the high cost of living.

September 5, 2019 16:43
2 minute read.
French olim arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport, July 10, 2017.

French olim arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport, July 10, 2017.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israel is the 14th-most attractive location for expats worldwide, rising eight places in just one year, according to a major annual survey conducted by global networking community InterNations.

Examining the satisfaction levels of over 20,000 expats regarding living and working abroad in 64 countries across the globe, the Expat Insider 2019 survey showed that expats in Israel are particularly happy with the high-quality of life and their working life, but struggle with the high cost of living.

Israel is currently at its highest ranking since InterNations published its first survey six years ago.

Taiwan, Vietnam and Portugal were ranked as the best global destinations, all of them attracting expats with their ease of settling in and good personal finances. At the other end of the spectrum was Kuwait, ranked as the least desirable destination for relocation, followed by Italy and Nigeria.

Compared with last year, Israel improved in all six key indices measured by the survey. The country was ranked among the top 10 destinations worldwide by respondents for working abroad (10th place) and quality of life (9th).

Expats in Israel expressed particular satisfaction regarding the availability of leisure activities in the country (88% vs. 75% globally), the affordability of healthcare (84% vs. 55% globally), and the quality of medical care (88% vs. 65% globally).

In terms of working abroad, Israel gained 12 ranks since last year – from 22nd place to 10th – after expats expressed increased job satisfaction (78% in 2019 vs. 65% in 2018). Israel is only beaten by Vietnam in the category of job satisfaction.

Despite increased satisfaction regarding leisure, healthcare and employment, the survey also revealed that Israel is among the world’s worst countries (61st place in 2019) for cost of living for the sixth consecutive year.

Almost two-thirds (64%) reported that the general cost of living was high, almost double the global average of 34%. Only expats in Switzerland, Denmark and Hong Kong reported higher living costs than those in Israel.

Israel did, however, climb 17 places in the personal finance index since last year (from 64th to 47th place), making it out of the bottom 10 countries for the first time.

Close to three-in-five expats (59%) said they were happy with their financial situation in 2019, compared with 54% in 2018. A further improvement was noted in the case of disposable household income, with 41% saying that they have more than they need to cover their daily life, compared with just 29% in 2018.

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