Feb 292016

Destinations For Romance

For the annual Expat Insider survey‚ social network InterNations asked more than 14‚000 people living in 195 different countries about their satisfaction with their romantic relationships.

Most satisfied with their romantic relationship are people living in Latin American and Asian countries. Ecuador tops the list‚ followed by Costa Rica‚ Malta‚ Israel‚ and the Philippines.

Indonesia‚ Panama‚ Thailand‚ Portugal‚ and Mexico round out the top ten destinations for romance. Overall‚ in nearly all top ten countries‚ more than the global average of 62% of expats are in a committed relationship. The Philippines has the highest percentage; here‚ 74% of expats have a significant other.

Among the participants who are currently in a relationship‚ 56% are with someone from a different country.

Expats in the Philippines (66%) and Thailand (57%) are the most likely in the top ten countries to be in a relationship with a local resident. The percentage of expats with a local partner is also high in Ecuador (56%‚ compared to 32% worldwide).

Expats in Malta (33%)‚ Israel (32%)‚ and Panama (31%)‚ on the other hand‚ have a high percentage of participants in a relationship with another expat.

“Moving abroad poses a great challenge to every relationship… We are relieved to see that out of all expat couples questioned‚ 75% said they are happy with their romantic life abroad‚” InterNations founder and co-CEO Malte Zeeck said in a statement on Monday.

The survey showed that of the top ten countries for romance‚ Panama (53%) and Costa Rica (47%) are the ones where expatriates are most likely to have a partner from their country of origin. They are also most likely to have met their partner back home (97% and 88%). Expats with a partner of the same nationality living in Mexico (90%) and Thailand (85%) are also quite likely to have met their partner in their country of origin.

Expats with a local partner in the Asian countries among the top ten destinations for romance are most likely to have met them in their host country. This holds true for 91% in Thailand‚ 84% in Indonesia‚ and 73% in the Philippines. These three countries also have an above-average percentage of expats whose partner is a local resident in the first place.

The Top 10 Countries to Find Love.

1. Ecuador

“Ecuador is the best destination to spend your life together. Expats in Ecuador are also among the least likely to be in a long-distance relationship. With leisure options ranked positively by 94% of respondents along with being the most welcoming destination to foreigners‚ it is hardly surprising that Ecuador is home to the happiest expats. As job security is mediocre‚ however‚ it is less a destination for career-focused expats and more appealing to those ready to settle down for good.”

2. Costa Rica

Three in four expats who met their partner before their relocation moved to Costa Rica together — a significant percentage given the global average is only 44%. “The friendly locals and highly rated work-life balance are just some of the reasons why expats decide to move to this tropical paradise. Unlike many other destinations that are mostly career-focused‚ the most popular reasons for moving to Costa Rica were for a better quality of life and a thirst for adventure.”

3. Malta

A considerable number of foreigners move to Malta for love‚ with 14% compared to the global average of 10%. Ranked first overall in the Working Abroad Index‚ as well as in its subcategories job satisfaction and work-life balance‚ InterNations says “the country proves to be perfect for those looking to improve their career prospects and romantic relationship simultaneously”.

4. Israel

Israel is the fourth most popular country for families‚ with 79% of expat parents rating the education options and 94% their children’s general wellbeing positively. “Not only are expat families some of the happiest here‚ Israel is also home to some of the world’s most harmonic romantic relationships.”

5. Philippines

Filipinos seem to be easy to connect to: 93% regard the friendliness of the local population positively and a striking 66% of non-single expatriates living in the country are also in a relationship with a local resident. A popular destination with retirees‚ the majority is aged 51 or older‚ with almost three out of four expats in the Philippines being men. “One of the top 10 most welcoming countries for expatriates in general‚ it is no surprise that many of them have moved to Philippines to live with their partners.”

6. Indonesia

Ranked sixth for personal finance‚ Indonesia appeals most to expats looking to make the most out of their money or for those looking for adventure. It seems expats here are not only well off‚ but also receive a warm welcome‚ with 86% regarding the local attitude towards foreign residents as friendly. In a similar vein‚ two in five expats have also found love locally and are in a relationship with an Indonesian.

7. Panama

Not only is Panama ranked in the top ten for expat destinations overall‚ it is actually the sixth most preferred destination for men. While many expats moved there for a better quality of life or were motivated by financial reasons‚ love doesn’t seem to have been a main deciding factor regarding the relocation. In fact‚ the majority of those currently in a relationship and living in Panama are together with somebody from their country of origin and moved there together. “With the country being ranked in the top 10 for personal happiness‚ a move to this beautiful place does not seem like a huge sacrifice though.”

8. Thailand

“In this tropical paradise‚ more than half the expat respondents who are still single agree that the expat lifestyle in Thailand does not impact having a relationship negatively. For those who are in a committed relationship‚ a relatively high percentage are together with a local resident whom they met after their move.” Much like in the Philippines‚ the majority of expats living in Thailand are men.

9. Portugal

Considerably more women are charmed by life in Portugal‚ with a significantly higher percentage of female expats to be found there (62 vs 38 percent). “Their admiration for the country comes to no surprise as it is considered the third most welcoming country for expats overall and ranks fifth in both‚ the Quality of Life and the Ease of Settling In Index‚” InterNations says. Although only just over half of the expats living here are in a committed relationship‚ they are some of the happiest‚ with almost nine out of ten of them overall satisfied with their love life.

10. Mexico

Mexico seems to be one of the most welcoming countries for expats‚ with over 60% of respondents going so far as to rate the friendliness of the local population as very good. What is more‚ whether it is the variety of leisure options or the friendliness of the local residents‚ expats here belong to the happiest in the world. Although Mexico ranks relatively poorly for working abroad‚ many moved because they wanted to live in this particular country or where looking for a better quality of life. InterNations notes: “And with 80% of expats content with their relationship‚ it seems they made the right choice.”

InterNations‚ a networking and information site for people who live and work abroad‚ says it has two million members in 390 cities around the world

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