Expats rate Spain highly as a place to live

by Deborah Cater
expats survey ranks Spain 16th best place to live

Spain ranks 16th in the world in the Expat Insider 2021 survey. It doesn’t fare so well in the category for working abroad, but expats love the local leisure options, friendly people, as well as excellent climate.

The survey ranks countries based on four main categories: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling in, Personal Finance and Working Abroad. Each of these contribute to the overall country ranking.

The survey was conducted in January 2021, with over 12,000 people taking part. These respondents represented over 170 nationalities.

Spain is great for Quality of Life

Spain came eighth out of 59 countries in the Quality of Life index. In the sub-category of Leisure Options, Spain topped the leader board.

The local climate and weather were a significant factor in this category. 59% of respondents gave it the highest possible rating compared to 27% globally.

A whopping 85% of respondents were happy with their local leisure options compared to 75% globally. As one Argentinian respondent said, “I like the lifestyle, the way most Spaniards find time to socialise over a coffee, wine or beer. I also like the climate.”

Expats feel at home in Spain

In the Ease of Settling In Index, Spain came a creditable 15th. In the sub-categories of feeling at home and friendliness, Spain ranked 4th and 20th respectively.

80% of expat respondents found it easy to adapt to the local culture, compared to a global average of 65%.  A US respondent said, “I love the culture, the food, the warm, friendly people and the interesting places to see.”

Casa Las Dunas Spain

Most expats agree the locals are generally friendly towards foreigner residents – 76% compared to 67% worldwide. As a British respondent commented, “I like that locals are friendly towards foreigners, even when they struggle with the local language.”

Working in Spain is not so hot

On the other side of the scale is the working life in Spain. It comes in the bottom ten (51st) for the Working Abroad index.

Job security and satisfaction both rank poorly. Career prospects and satisfaction sub-category ranked a lowly 51st. As one Austrian respondent put it, “there are lots of lousy jobs with low salaries.”

Personal finances could be better

Spain ranked 40th out of 59 countries for personal finances. However, it was not alone with the majority of the countries below it being European.

The ranking was based on the responses to two questions:

To which extent would you agree with the following statement? – I’m satisfied with my financial situation.

Do you feel that your disposable income is enough to cover everything you need for your daily life?

 

Overall, Spain got a thumbs up from 88% of the respondents as a place to live, compared to a global rate of 77%. 

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