2024 Best Countries To Live In

2024 Best Countries To Live In

We’re looking at the best countries to live in 2024. We expect that some results will surprise you because you haven’t considered them before. Some had exciting developments in the news in 2023, while others consistently draw expats year after year.

In no particular order, here are our picks for the best countries to live in 2024:

Estonia

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While this former Soviet state has drawn digital nomads for years, other Americans are just waking up to the dream destination. Estonia views the Internet as a public service, leveraging it in most government, banking, and healthcare services while offering fast access to all. Another sign of its progressive approach: last year, Estonia became the first former USSR state to legalize same-sex marriage.

➤ Learn more about moving to Estonia

Slovenia

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Slovenia is another sleeper hit for expats looking to move abroad in 2024. Its mountainous landscapes on the Adriatic Sea beckon newcomers seeking gorgeous nature. The Slavic country also offers top-notch healthcare, safety, and infrastructure. Retirees love its slower pace of life outside the capital Ljubljana, though students and skilled workers can also enjoy its charms.

English is commonly spoken here, easing you into this warm culture as you learn Slovenian or explore the other Balkan states. We absolutely believe Slovenia will be the next big thing for Americans moving abroad.

➤ Learn more about moving to Slovenia

Mauritius

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Mauritius is a stunning island country off Africa’s southeast coast. Retirees enjoy the subtropical climate in Port Louis, its capital city. Students and remote workers appreciate the competitive cost of living, which is half the U.S. average. It’s more gay-friendly than much of Africa, too; same-sex relationships are legal here, though marriages still aren’t recognized. French-based Creole is the main Mauritian language, so be patient with yourself while learning to communicate.

Kenya

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Kenya has long been a welcoming destination for people living in Africa. In December 2023, President William Ruto extended that invitation to the world by declaring Kenya a visa-free country: “We are the first home of all humanity, and we joyfully embrace our ancestral task of welcoming humanity home.” Kenya joins Rwanda and other African nations in opening up its borders, hoping to mirror the same success Europe has had with the visa-free Schengen Zone.

Oman

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While the United Arab Emirates gets more attention, we believe that Oman offers a more accessible experience for expats in the Middle East. The Islamic country brings attracts immigrants through its low crime rates, affordable cost of living, and private international schools. Its natural beauty runs the gamut from mountains to desert plains and beaches, too, teeming with vibrant life. Expats yearning for a traditional Arabian Muslim life can certainly find a home in this country. Capital city Muscat delivers the best healthcare, employment, and education options for foreigners.

➤ Learn more about moving to Oman

Spain

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Let’s be honest: Spain boasts the highest quality healthcare, infrastructure, and safety at the lowest cost. It’s got a number of visa options, including for digital nomads and a golden visa that offers residency when you invest at least €500,000 in real estate. They speak Spanish, too—the most common language chosen on the Expatsi Test after English. Pair these benefits with its high rankings for Black Americans, women, LGBTQ+ people, and raising kids; you’ll find a country ready to welcome you with open arms.

Spain’s got a couple of drawbacks, of course. Getting citizenship takes 10 years if you don’t qualify for citizenship by ancestry. The Spanish won’t offer dual citizenship to most people, either, so permanent residency is your most likely option. Regardless, Spain offers so many lifestyle options. There’s the Mediterranean life in the south, verdant life in the north with Bilbao, and cosmopolitan life in the center with Madrid. Don’t worry about missing out on cities you didn’t choose to settle in: Spain’s train system makes travel a breeze across the region.

➤ Learn more about moving to Spain

New Zealand

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Known as Aotearoa by the Māori, New Zealand is now recruiting Americans to work there. Job openings center primarily around the capital of Wellington on the North Island, featuring careers like construction, software development, hospitality, and nursing. It’s a rare opportunity to move to this stunning, expensive country without being a student or high-dollar investor.

➤ Learn more about moving to New Zealand

Romania

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American expats are waking up to this gem in Eastern Europe. Romania is well-liked for its friendly locals and Old World architecture on the Black Sea. Skilled workers and digital nomads appreciate its robust job market around Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest. The U.S. dollar goes far in Romania, too, which encourages many to seek citizenship by ancestry here and enjoy full European Union access. A bonus: English is the main foreign language taught in schools, easing the integration process for solo expats and families alike.

➤ Learn more about moving to Romania

Germany

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When we talk about the best countries to get an education, Germany tops the list every time. It offers free college tuition to all students, regardless of their home country; they even offer programs in English. It’s part of the country’s heavy investment in social programs for the middle class.

Investments in the social safety net can be seen in other ways, too. A robust universal healthcare system lets patients focus on getting well, not on medical debt. Germany’s top-rated safety and infrastructure systems foster social growth for its 18 million immigrants—second only to the U.S. in foreign-born residents. The inclusive German spirit creates a welcoming home for marginalized groups like Muslims and LGBTQ+ people.

➤ Learn more about moving to Germany

South Korea

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South Korea continues to be at the forefront when it comes to visa options for expats. The government launched its digital nomad visa in 2024, allowing remote workers to immerse themselves in Korean culture for up to two years. They’re also launching a new “K-culture visa” in 2024, letting non-Koreans embrace K-pop culture by studying at local performing arts academies.

It’s not hard to see what makes this Asian country special. Seoul, Busan, and other Korean cities support stellar healthcare systems and public transportation networks. Korean culture itself may come off as insular towards outsiders, but it’s no deterrent to expats who appreciate this incredibly sage country.

➤ Learn more about moving to South Korea

Rwanda

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When it comes to preparation for climate change, Rwanda sets a global standard. The at-risk African country has invested heavily in initiatives like reforestation, solar energy, and anti-littering to become on of the greenest countries on Earth. Learning the local language may be a challenge, though it’s worth the effort for expats eager to embrace Rwanda’s growth as an eco-friendly society.

Jen explains why Rwanda ranks among the best countries to live in 2024:

@expatsi What’s your guess for this beautiful country? #moveabroad #immigrant #expat Thanks to @Reader’s Digest ♬ original sound – Jen from Expatsi

➤ Learn more about moving to Rwanda

Cambodia

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It’s easy to disregard Cambodia as simply an alternative to Thailand. However, expats who’ve experienced this tropical country for themselves say that it’s in a class all its own. Cambodia’s friendly locals, ancient architecture, and gorgeous central plains combine to form a welcoming home for its new residents. Minimal living costs paired with solid infrastructure attract digital nomads looking to enjoy a life that’s less frenetic than big-tech cities like Seattle. Retirees get to experience new cuisines as they downsize their American lives for new adventures in Southeast Asia.

With about 100,000 expats from all countries calling Cambodia home, you’re sure to find new friends who share your experiences. While Siem Reap is home to the most English speakers here, Phnom Penh is where you’ll find the most expats overall.

Thailand

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Thailand has drawn immigrants from across the world for decades. Its affordable healthcare makes it a top destination for retirees, according to a recent study from Cigna. Foodies everywhere clamor for Thai cuisine, thanks to a government initiative to spread their food culture around the world. Thailand also sets the pace in welcoming queer folks in Asia.

If you’re thinking of a scouting trip to Thailand, you’ll likely land in major cities like Bangkok or Chiang Mai for your excursion. We challenge you to branch out from the metropolitan areas and consider some of its beach towns. Pattaya City, in particular, ranks highly for retirees on a budget; while the Thai retirement visa requires about $1800 in monthly income, you can retire to this beach town for half the cost.

➤ Learn more about moving to Thailand

Mexico

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Much like its U.S. neighbor, Mexico is home to greater diversity than you could ever imagine. This massive country contains all of the climate zones (including polar!). If heat gets you down, cities like Cuernavaca and San Miguel de Allende offer that “eternal spring” weather that many expats crave in their new home countries. Mexico’s breadth of locales offers living options at every price point. Some seek the vibrant life of a world-class capital like Mexico City; others want the rich culture of Mérida or simple beach life in Sisal. Meanwhile, Mexican food makes such an impression that many Americans identify it as what they miss most when living abroad.

Our biggest endorsement for Mexico’s place on this list comes from its people. We’ve found them to be as warm and accepting as anyone we’ve come across in our time with Expatsi, which Jen wrote about in 2022. This community spirit makes Mexico a place that’s great for Black Americans, LGBTQ+ people, and families. Over 58,000 U.S. retirees receive their Social Security benefits here every month, too. Mexico feels like home to us, and we think you’ll find a home there, too.

➤ Learn more about moving to Mexico

Panama

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Retirement looks great in Panama. Their pensionado retirement visa is available as young as 18, provided you have $1,000 in passive monthly income or deposit $100,000 in a Panamanian bank. This program waives Panama’s tax on retirement income and offers discounts on features like personal mortgages and utility bills. Once you consider its strong healthcare system and how it uses the U.S. dollar as currency, it’s easy to see why Americans consider Panama a choice option for life abroad.

There’s more to this Central American gem than just bonuses for seniors. Like Mexico, Panama offers a wide range of living options to choose from. Many expats pick Panama City, preferring the momentum found in a world-class capital. Others opt for the slower life in David or Boquete, while fellow immigrants seek the beach life in the Caribbean or Pacific. Whether you’re seeking the easy life or a home base for exploring Latin America, Panama invites you to scout it out.

➤ Learn more about moving to Panama

Chile

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Chile works out great for skilled workers and entrepreneurs, especially those in the tech field. This vibrant hub encourages new businesses through streamlined bureaucracy, low tax rates, and a skilled workforce, and it allows complete foreign ownership. Organizations like Start-up Chile serve as incubators for foreigners—especially women—looking to make their mark in technology. Chile became one of the safest countries in South America on its way to business dominance, creating a nation that’s eager for growth in the 21st century.

➤ Learn more about moving to Chile

Uruguay

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When it comes to progressive policies in Latin America, Uruguay has surpassed its peers for nearly a century. They decriminalized same-sex activity in 1934 and have never penalized personal drug use. Expats appreciate the mutualista, a medical plan where you subscribe to your private hospital and its clinics for a low monthly fee. Located on South America’s lower Atlantic coast, its capital Montevideo provides a relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for raising kids away from the frenetic pace in many large cities. It’s also ideal for seniors who want to live frugally while enjoying easy travel to Brazil and Argentina.

➤ Learn more about moving to Uruguay

France

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There’s always a certain je ne sais quoi when describing what makes France special, but we’ll do our best here. It’s a dream home for lovers of art, food, wine, and European culture. Expats qualify for the public healthcare system after three consecutive months on a long-stay visa. Several visa options can get you French residency, including a low-cost retirement option and another for working artists. It ranks highly for women. Skilled workers also have plenty of job opportunities, even outside of Paris. That’s probably why more Americans moved to France than any other EU country in 2022. 

➤ Learn more about moving to France

Portugal

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The proverbial darling of American expats, Portugal is Expatsi’s most-requested country by Americans looking to move abroad. Our audience aspires to the slower Portuguese way of life and accessible cost of living on the Atlantic coast. Non-retirees can qualify for SNS, the country’s public healthcare system, after three months’ residency; retirees will need a long-stay visa first. Ignore the hype around overcrowding: only about 10,000 Americans live in Portugal, out of 750,000 total immigrants in a population of 15 million. 

Portugal offers several paths to expats hoping to move here. Although the Golden Visa program made some changes in 2023, you can still qualify via in-country investments. Its digital nomad program lets you soak up the sun while working from your laptop. Portugal’s D7 retirement visa only requires about $800 in monthly passive income to qualify—one of the lowest rates in the world. Expats find affordable living options beyond hotspots like downtown Lisbon. Be sure to immerse yourself in learning Portuguese for the best results, as only 40 percent of the population speaks fluent English.

➤ Learn more about moving to Portugal

Jen also shares her thoughts about the best countries to live in on our TikTok channel:

@expatsiThere’s no such thing as the best country, there’s just the best country for YOU. Here’s a list to get you started, and take the Expatsi Test!

♬ original sound – Jen from Expatsi

bed49dc5d4263d6d37b46cb09574d411?s=150&d=mp&r=g
Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is an expat influencer and co-founder of Expatsi, a company that's helped thousands of expats on their moving abroad journeys. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.

Cigna March 2024 ad for desktop
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Cigna March 2024 ad for desktop
Cigna March 2024 ad - mobile
bed49dc5d4263d6d37b46cb09574d411?s=150&d=mp&r=g
Co-founder at Expatsi | + posts

Brett Andrews is an expat influencer and co-founder of Expatsi, a company that's helped thousands of expats on their moving abroad journeys. Brett and his partner Jen developed the Expatsi Test to recommend countries to move to, based on factors like budget, visa type, spoken languages, healthcare rankings, and more. In a former life, he worked as a software developer, IT support specialist, and college educator. When he's not working, Brett loves watching comic book movies and reading unusual books.