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The worst countries to move to in 2024?

People relocate to other countries for an improved quality of life, to be closer to family, live in a safer environment, and to countries where they can work. In 2023, 65% of migrants lived in high-income countries. 31% lived in middle-income countries, and only 4% lived in low-income countries. Those stats probably change a bit when you only look at locations where corporate sponsored moves are happening, but remaining aware of which countries offer the greatest challenges is important. 

According to this article from Visit World, global data shows that in 2023, the most popular destination regions for migrants were Europe (87 million), North America (59 million), and North Africa and West Asia (approximately 50 million). The United States was the most popular country for international migrants, receiving 51 million migrants in 2023. This demonstrates the significant influence of economic, social, and political factors on the distribution of international migration and the choice of residence for migrants.

On the flip side, Expat Insider 2023 and Worldwide Expat Index 2023 also have a ranking of the worst countries to move to in 2024 . The ranking was based on indicators like security, education, cost of living, quality of healthcare, political stability, and happiness. 

The top 10 list includes: 

  1. South Africa: “The quality of life here is low, both in terms of happiness and health. In terms of security, it is a really difficult country.”
  2. India: “India is a country with low scores on the index of happiness, health, and overall quality of life.”
  3. Italy: “According to expats, the biggest problem in Italy is working conditions. In terms of the main components of work criteria (career prospects, salary, job security, work and leisure), expats are dissatisfied with the situation on the labour market. ”
  4. United Kingdom: “A particular problem is the high cost of living and poor quality of healthcare. Many expats express dissatisfaction with their financial situation and living conditions. Despite this, the UK remains a popular destination for many immigrants.”
  5. Hong Kong: “According to the Expat Insider and Worldwide Index ratings, Hong Kong is not the best place for permanent residence. The language barrier and housing situation can be uncomfortable for newcomers. The cost of living in this Asian country is also relatively high.”
  6. Hungary: “Hungary has low scores in healthcare and overall quality of life, which is worth considering before moving. Expats often face problems with settling in and understanding the locals due to the language barrier.”
  7. Poland: “Before moving to Poland, expats should consider the real language barrier, which can be a significant obstacle to communication and adaptation. Knowledge of Polish or English can help ease the process of interacting with locals.”
  8. Malta:Malta is not the best option for permanent residence due to the low quality of life. Problems with housing and finances can be important factors to consider before deciding to relocate. The work culture also does not always meet expectations, and employment prospects are not very attractive. Salaries often leave much to be desired.”
  9. South Korea: “Living in South Korea can be a challenge for immigrants. Finding new friends and maintaining a social life can be challenging given the peculiarities of the local culture. Job offers do not always meet expectations, and the work culture may differ from immigrants' habits. ”
  10. Indonesia: “Indonesia scores poorly in terms of quality of life and access to healthcare for expats. Although career opportunities are available, they are not attractive. However, expats usually do not face significant social barriers and the cost of living in the country is relatively low.”

I have to admit that a number of these came as a little bit of a surprise to me, and many of these locations have very attractive “pros” in living there. Let us know what countries your relocating employees have had concerns about, even countries that might be popular for tourism and other travel. 




When making the life-changing decision to move to a new country, it is important to analyse various aspects. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in migration rates. As of 2023, 281 million people live outside their home country.  The main purpose of moving for most migrants is to improve their quality of life and prosperity in a safe environment. Therefore, choosing the wrong country for immigration can have serious consequences. It is important to consider a variety of aspects: economic prospects, quality of life, cultural context and security system.


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