China Beats Canada, US in List of Best Countries for Expat Women

By Rachel Deason, March 8, 2017

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Every year, global network and expat information site InterNations releases a list of the best countries for women working abroad. The data is cultivated from a survey of 14,300 expatriates representing 174 nationalities and living in 191 countries. Participants are asked to focus on their overall satisfaction according to five topical indices: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, Personal Finance and Cost of Living.

The survey covers both men and women, with the results showing a disparity between each gender’s experiences abroad. For example, almost half of the women who currently live abroad (46 percent) mentioned their job or business as a reason for expatriating, whereas seven out of ten (71 percent) of their male counterparts said the same. Nonetheless, work is still the factor most often given by women for expatriating, followed by moving for a partner at 33 percent and looking for an adventure at 26 percent.

Out of countries with 50 or more respondents in the 2016 survey, the results place Chinese mainland as the 19th best country for expat women’s satisfaction, ahead of the US, Switzerland and Canada, while the island of Taiwan performs even better at second overall, just behind Luxembourg.

Expat Women Satisfaction

American expat in Shanghai Elizabeth Chick came to China with her boyfriend and admits that the job market was a major factor in choosing this locale. “[My partner and I] had a list of countries, and China came out on top for a lot of reasons, most of which were financial,” she told That’s Shanghai. “The US is too expensive to live in, too expensive to eat in, and there were too many other graduates with my qualifications looking for work.”

An above-average share of women worry about the cost of living and taxation abroad before their move, and more than one third actually end up earning less than at home. But money is not everything: Nearly 80 percent of expat women consider themselves happy with their life, and three in ten are even thinking about staying abroad forever.

“I have been able to grow [in Shanghai],” said Ms. Chick. “That experience is always satisfying.” 

[Image via InterNations]

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