Czech Republic is the fourth-best place for expats

A survey by HSBC shows the country jumping up from 18th place last year

The Czech Republic is the fourth-best place for expats to live, according to the 2016 Expat Explorer Survey by bank HSBC. The winner was Singapore, followed by New Zealand and Canada. Switzerland was in fifth place out of 45 ranked countries. In the 2015 outcome, the Czech Republic was in 18th place, so it made a significant jump.

Brazil came in last this time, with Egypt in the penultimate spot and Italy third from the bottom.

The survey's county guide described the Czech Republic as “a young country with an old soul.”

The Czech Republic, with its industrialized economy, is fast becoming one of the region’s most popular expat destinations, the report said.

“While it has only existed as an independent country since 1993, the Czech Republic not only boasts high living standards, rich history and stunning natural landscapes, but is also home to one of the world’s most beautiful and cultured capital cities, cosmopolitan Prague,” it added.

The country scored highest in categories relating to family, coming in second of all countries. It was eighth in experience and 12th in economics.

For living in the Czech Republic, the survey praised the “vibrant urban nightlife” and “exciting outdoor pursuits in the idyllic countryside.”

“The country’s infrastructure is of a high standard and healthcare is rapidly improving. There are plenty of schooling options for families to choose from, although international school fees are high. Despite this, the Czech Republic was ranked first …for the overall cost of raising children,” the survey said. The country was in second place for school quality.

Oddly, though, the country came in 45th place in the category “closeness with partner” despite scoring highly in other family-related categories.

The survey also said that making friendships with Czechs can take time and the bureaucracy was difficult, but the country's central location, transportation network, nightlife and low cost of living helped to compensate.

The Czech Republic scored high for life/work balance and economic confidence, but low for wage growth. The economic climate plus the highly educated and skilled workforce have helped to attract large numbers of international companies in technology and the auto sector. “Competition for jobs can be tough, but there are good opportunities for hard-working expats with the right credentials,” the survey said.

The survey also noted that the standard of accommodation was good but there were some restrictions on buying property.

The Expat Explorer survey, now in its ninth year, is one of the largest independent global expat surveys, according to te HSBC website. It is conducted by research company YouGov, and almost 27,000 expats based in over 100 countries were questioned between March and May 2016.

The survey defines an expatriate as someone over the age of 18 years old who is currently living away from their home country.

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