Romania comes 32nd out of 59 destinations in the Expat Insider 2021 survey

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How do expats rate life in their respective host country? How happy are they with specific aspects of living abroad, such as the quality of life, the ease of settling in, or their working life? And what kind of impact has the COVID-19-pandemic had on life abroad?

Today, InterNations publishes its Expat Insider 2021 survey, one of the world’s most comprehensive surveys about living and working abroad with more than 12,000 survey respondents.

Overall, the survey report analyzes 59 destinations around the globe, ranking the best and worst countries for expats and offering in-depth information on five areas of expat life: Quality of Life, Cost of Living, Personal Finance, Working Abroad, and Ease of Settling In. Additionally, the respondents share how they have been experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has impacted their life.

Expats in Romania Enjoy Their Financial Situation but Wish for a Higher Quality of Life

Romania comes 32nd out of 59 destinations in the Expat Insider 2021 survey. Expats are particularly happy with their personal finances (8th) and the cost of living (15th). While the country also performs quite well in the Ease of Settling In Index (27th), it only lands in 37th place in the Working Abroad Index. Lastly, it even ranks among the bottom 10 destinations in the Quality of Life Index (51st).



In the Bottom 10 for the Quality of Life…
Coming in 32nd place out of 59 countries in the Expat Insider 2021 survey, Romania lands among the
bottom 10 in the Quality of Life Index (51st). The country even ranks second to last in the Travel & Transport subcategory (58th), only ahead of Kuwait (59th): 13% of expats are unhappy with their travel
opportunities in Romania (vs. 7% globally), and more than half (56%) rate the transportation infrastructure negatively (vs. 15% globally). A US American expat says: “The roads are not very good —there are too many potholes that are poorly fixed. And there is not enough public transportation outside of the big cities.”
Romania also ends up among the bottom 10 in the Health & Well-Being subcategory (54th). Over onethird of expats (36%) rate the quality of medical care in Romania negatively (vs. 14% globally). “Romania  is not the place for people with health issues or risks, even if money or private health insurance is available,” shares an Austrian expat. More than one in four expats also are unhappy with the water and sanitation infrastructure (26% vs. 12% globally) and the air quality in Romania (26% vs. 20% globally).
The country performs better in the Digital Life Index (27th). Almost all expats find it easy to get highspeed internet at home (95% vs. 79% globally) and a local mobile phone number (98% vs. 87% globally). However, 50% rate the availability of government services online negatively, compared to only 21% globally. But the majority of expats (88%) likes the peacefulness in Romania (vs. 80% globally). An expat from Pakistan even says that “it is one of the most peaceful countries in the world”.
… but in the Top 10 for Personal Finance
Romania performs best in the Personal Finance Index, even making it into the top 10 worldwide (8th).
Nearly three in four expats (74%) are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally), and 91%  consider their disposable household income to be enough or more than enough to cover all their expenses (vs. 77% globally). Romania also performs well in the Cost of Living Index (15th), with 70% of expats rating this aspect of expat life positively (vs. 48% globally).
Mixed Results for Working Abroad
However, Romania shows a below-average performance in the Working Abroad Index (37th). On the one hand, most expats are satisfied with their working hours (66% vs. 66% globally) and their worklife balance (71% vs. 66% globally). On average, expats in Romania work just slightly longer than the global average: full-time employees put in 43.5 hours a week (vs. 43.2 hours globally).
On the other hand, 39% of expats rate the local economy negatively (vs. 19% globally), and over onethird (36%) are unhappy with the local career opportunities (vs. 33% globally). Moreover, 22% of expats are dissatisfied with their job in general (vs. 16% globally). The top 3 fields that expats in Romania work in are IT (15% vs. 11% globally), manufacturing and engineering (15% vs. 7% globally), and finance (13% vs. 8% globally).

The Impact of COVID-19 on Expat Life in Romania
The majority of expats in Romania (72%) says the pandemic has not affected the duration of their
current stay abroad (vs. 63% globally). However, 14% of survey respondents in Romania think the |pandemic will affect their family life in the long run (vs. 9% globally). The top 3 sources of information regarding COVID-19 and related regulations for expats in Romania are the local news (53% vs. 47% globally), official government channels (36% vs. 48% globally), and social media (29% vs. 40% globally).
While two-thirds of expats worldwide (66%) are satisfied with the official communication regarding COVID-19, this is only the case for 52% of expats in Romania.

The Best and Worst Destinations for Expats in 2021

Out of 59 countries in the Expat Insider 2021 survey, the top 3 destinations for expat life in 2021 are Taiwan (1st), Mexico (2nd), and Costa Rica (3rd). On the other hand, expats rate Kuwait (59th), Italy (58th), and South Africa (57th) the worst.

Expat Life during the COVID-19 Pandemic

On a global scale, 45% of survey respondents say that COVID-19 had an impact on their current stay abroad or their relocation plans: the share of expats who say so (37%) either decided to not move back home in the near future (18%), planned to move to another country but had to change these plans (8%), will move to another country due to the pandemic (6%), or will move back home sooner than originally planned (5%).

The share of local respondents whose relocation plans were affected by COVID-19 (61%) is a lot higher: some of them were living abroad but moved home sooner than planned (18%), others were planning to move abroad but had to change their plans (35%), and about one in ten have now decided to move abroad because of the pandemic (9%).

For further information on the global impact of COVID-19 on expat life, please take a look at the full press release in the download center of our e-mail.


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