Worst place to be an expat?

Britain, apparently. How ironic for this information to come to light on my expat-iversary. Oops.

2 responses to “Worst place to be an expat?

  1. A wonderful pair of surveys! Despite my usual reservations about attitude surveys, I warmly commend this article, and hope that it will be publicized far beyond the normal readership of the The Economist. It seems to me that the following benefits to Britain will accrue by this:

    1) Fewer would-be expats of the whingeing and whining kind will want to live in these overcrowded islands;
    2) Those that remain will be those who embrace this country and its ways, who openheartedly enjoy living here;
    3) Increasingly, in future surveys, the views of those described in (2) will be reflected; and thus:
    4) VoilĂ ! Britain will then rise through the ranks of ‘best places to be an expat’!

    … Ah, but hang on … … Further thought:

    5) As Britain rises in the ratings, more expats of the whingeing and whining variety will be attracted here, and being what they are, will be disappointed;
    6) So they will be critical when called upon to complete survey questionnaires.
    7) So Britain will decline through the ranks of ‘best places to be an expat’!

    Oh well.

    Perhaps we should just be grateful for expats like these:


    and there are many others I could list.

  2. I dunno, I’m pretty skeptical about such generalizations. I mean, if you are an expat in Beijing or Shanghai, for example, everything about your life could be radically different from if you were in most other Chinese cities. And, of course, how happy someone is living abroad might ultimately have nothing to do with access to a gym or a boating club or the ability to rent a nice place for less money. The experience of being an expat is so radically different from country to country and city to city and job to job and person to person that it is hard to make a universal measure of the quality of life.

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