Vietnam 14th most favoured country by expats, thanks to budget-friendly living costs
  • | VNS | September 03, 2023 04:08 PM

Vietnam is ranked the 14th best place for expats in 2023, with a happiness score of 82 against a global average of 72, according to the Expat Insiders 2023 Report released recently.

How expats rate life in Vietnam. The country was ranked 14th in the world as the best country for expats according to InterNations 2023 survey. — Photo from the survey report.

The survey was conducted in February this year via an online questionnaire through the InterNations community, with 12,065 participants representing 171 nationalities living in 172 countries/territories across the world.

Five factors - namely Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance, and Expat Essentials - were taken into account in the ranking.

In the Quality of Life index, Vietnam was ranked 47 in the top 53 countries.

More than half the expats (55 per cent) are unhappy with the air quality, more than triple the global average (17 per cent). And not even three in ten (29 per cent) are happy with the urban environment, compared to 67 per cent globally.

In the Ease of Settling In index, Vietnam ranks quite high at 14th place in the top 53 countries, with the expats highly appreciating the country in the subcategories: Local Friendliness (5th), Culture & Welcome (16th), Finding Friends (11th). Eighty three per cent of the respondents feel welcome in Vietnam (83 per cent vs. 67 per cent globally).

In the Working Abroad index, Vietnam was rated 29 of 53, with Work & Leisure or Salary & Job Security subcategories being quite high (6th and 17th, respectively), while Career Prospects and Work Culture subcategories leaving a lot for desire (37th & 44th positions, respectively).

In Personal Finance, Vietnam was unbeatable, reigning champion for the second time this year, ahead of its several neighbouring countries in ASEAN (Philippines the 3rd place, Thailand 4th, Malaysia 5th, and Indonesia 6th).

The index is based on three factors: satisfaction with the financial situation, general cost of living, and whether a respondent’s disposable household income is enough to lead a comfortable life.

Over three-quarters of respondents in Vietnam (77 per cent) rate the cost of living favourably (vs. 44 per cent globally). More than triple the global average say it is very good (43 per cent vs. 13 per cent). Expats are happy with their financial situation (71 per cent vs. 58 per cent globally) — close to two in five (39 per cent) even completely so (vs. 21 per cent globally).

Around seven in ten (71 per cent) agree that their disposable household income is more than enough to lead a comfortable life (vs. 44 per cent globally). And over a quarter (27 per cent) even say it is a lot more than enough (vs. 6 per cent globally).

Since the first Expat Insider survey in 2014, Vietnam has always ranked in the top 10 of the Personal Finance Index. It has even landed in 1st place in this index five times, including in 2023.

Close to a third of those working in Vietnam (32 per cent) are top managers/executives (vs. 12 per cent globally), according to the survey.

In the Expat Essentials, Vietnam scored quite low at the 43th position out of the top 53 countries. Other than the apparent satisfaction seen in the Housing subcategory (7th place), other three remaining subcategories - Digital Life, Admin Topics, and Language - the country was rated in the bottom five countries.

Almost half of the respondents (49 per cent) are unhappy with the availability of administrative services online (vs. 21 per cent globally), and only 66 per cent are satisfied with the cashless payment options, much less than the global average (84 per cent). Both obtaining high-speed internet access at home (44th) and having unrestricted access to online services (44th) pose further problems for expats in Vietnam.

According to the survey by InterNations, the average age of expat respondents in Vietnam is about 52.9 years old, and is mostly men (73 per cent).

Seventeen per cent are from the United States, 9 per cent from the United Kingdom, and roughly 7 per cent from Australia, same for India.

A third of the expats work in the education field (32 per cent), 11 per cent in manufacturing and engineering, and 10 per cent in IT.

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