The Netherlands ranked one of Europe’s most popular expat destinations

The Netherlands ranked one of Europe’s most popular expat destinations

A recent survey conducted by British bank HSBC found that, while Europe may not be the most popular expat destination, the Netherlands ranked as the 11th most popular country in the world for expat living. 

2021 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey

Now in its 14th year, the Expat Explorer Survey commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by YouGov surveys the views and experiences of over 20.000 expats based in over 100 countries. This year sees 46 countries from around the world ranked according to expat living, aspiring, and future outlook. 

Overall, the 2021 report has revealed that 80 percent of expats currently living abroad will continue to live in their host country for at least another year, with the majority of the respondents feeling optimistic about a return to “normality” after the coronavirus pandemic.

While many expats find themselves settling in Europe, HSBC found that the MENAT region (Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey) received the highest ranking for quality of life. Furthermore, six out of the top 10 countries in the ranking aren’t in Europe.

Expats happy with quality of life in the Netherlands 

Once again, the Netherlands performed fairly well in this year’s edition of the Expat Explorer Survey, achieving an overall ranking of 11th place out of the 46 countries ranked. 

The country performed particularly well when it came to the quality of life and ambitions and finance categories, ranking in 10th and 11th place respectively. The future outlook ranking, which examines the optimism and future plans of expats living in each of the countries involved in the report, placed the Netherlands in 18th place. 

While on the whole, expats living in the Netherlands were positive about their experiences and quality of life, a number highlighted the importance of establishing a strong social network and pointed out how tricky that can be when faced with the directness of the locals. “If you want a social life in the Netherlands, you have to work hard,” one respondent said, while another joked that they were still getting used to the Dutch: “[They] are nice, but can come across as quite direct.”

The top 15 countries around the world for expats

According to the 2021 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, the favourite destinations amongst the international expat community are:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Australia
  3. New Zealand
  4. United Arab Emirates
  5. Guernsey
  6. Jersey
  7. Isle of Man
  8. Bahrain
  9. Singapore
  10. Qatar
  11. The Netherlands
  12. Cyprus
  13. Canada
  14. Spain
  15. Taiwan

The UK, Italy, and Turkey occupied the bottom three spots in this year’s ranking. For more information, visit the HSBC website.

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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