The Netherlands ranked 7th-best country in the world for expats

The Netherlands ranked 7th-best country in the world for expats

The Netherlands remains a great country for expats - according to various rankings, at least. In a recent study put together by a British insurance provider, the country has been ranked as one of the top 10 expat destinations in the world, beating the likes of Germany and Denmark. 

William Russell’s World Expat Index 2023

In their World Expat Index, health insurance agency William Russell explores the pros and cons of living as an expat in 53 of the world’s “richest and most developed countries”, assessing a wide range of factors - everything from the number of hospitals and average salaries, to the countries’ performance in the World Happiness Report - in order to determine which countries offer the highest quality of life for expats. 

Each of the 30 indices received a score, in order to calculate a country’s overall average out of 40. “Since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has strived to expand, explore the horizon and settle in new lands,” William Russell writes on their website. “This spirit is still alive today as thousands of people look to move to a new country every year.”

The highest places in the ranking were dominated by European positions, with countries like Latvia, Austria and Germany all claiming spots in the top 10. According to this year’s edition of the study, Finland is (once again) the number one expat destination in the world, receiving an “expat score” of 26,9 out of 40. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sweden and Norway round out the top three.

The Netherlands remains a top country for expat living

The Netherlands claiming a top spot in various international rankings is a fairly common occurrence. So far this year, the low-lying country has been ranked as having one of the best passports in the world, being one of the best places to raise a family, and having the best quality of life in the world. While this time around the country does miss out on a spot on the podium, the Netherlands has been ranked the seventh-best country for expats. 

With an overall score of 23,61 out of 40, the Netherlands scores well above the ranking’s average of just 18,52. It also managed to do particularly well when it came to the local labour market and job opportunities, coming in joint first place with Poland for its “overall employment score” of 5,77 out of 10 - significantly higher than the average of 3,77 points.

This high score was mainly due to the country’s low rate of unemployment, high average salaries, good trade unions and maternity leave schemes, Aside from the good working conditions and job opportunities, the Netherlands also performed well when it came to the quality and accessibility of drinking water and overall happiness.

The Netherlands was, however, let down by the overall lack of space - according to the data, there are 508,15 people per square kilometre - and the high cost of rental housing, both in cities and in more rural areas.

Top 10 countries for expat living 

According to the 2023 edition of William Russell’s World Expat Index, the top 10 countries in the world for expats are: 

  1. Finland (26,90 out of 40) 
  2. Sweden (26,77) 
  3. Norway (25,75) 
  4. Austria (25,48) 
  5. New Zealand (24,65) 
  6. Australia (24,49) 
  7. The Netherlands (23,61)
  8. Germany (23,58) 
  9. Lithuania (23,40) 
  10. Latvia (22,39)

For more information about the ranking and the methodology used, visit William Russell’s website.

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Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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