Surprise, surprise! France offers expats a great quality of life

Children running through a lavender field in France

Expats say France offers them a great quality of life - Credit: Serr Novik - Getty Images/iStockphoto

Yes! We know you’ve heard it all before – but yet another survey has ranked France among the world’s best countries for quality of life.  

Polling company Yougov questioned more than 20,000 expats in over 100 countries, of which 46 countries had enough respondents for statistically significant results. 

France was ranked in ninth place out of the 46 countries for the quality of life it offers expats, whereas the UK came in at a lowly 44th place, above only Turkey and Bermuda. 

The survey was commissioned by British bank HSBC for the 2021 Expat Explorer Survey, the longest running independent global survey of expats, now in its 14th year. 

As well as being questioned about their quality of life and work, expats were asked about their aspirations and optimism for the future in their host country. 

Overall, France was ranked the 21st best place to live and work abroad out of 46 countries, while the UK languished third from bottom in the table, slightly better than Turkey and Italy, but worse than Russia and the Philippines. 

Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates took the top spots, followed by the Channel islands of Jersey and Guernsey. 

Overall, two-thirds of expats reported a higher quality of life since relocating abroad.  

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Four out of five said they intended to stay in their host country for at least the next year. Three-quarters were optimistic that a sense of ‘normality’ would soon return following a volatile 18 months caused by the pandemic, and two-thirds felt optimistic about the year ahead. 

More than six out of 10 said their disposable income had increased since moving abroad. Of those expats struggling to manage their finances, around half said this was due to complex tax rules.