Foreign nationals living in Malta have ranked the island among the top 10 worst countries to live in, according to a survey published by an international expat community.

The Expat Insider survey for 2021 was published by global expat networking community InterNations, which asked 12,420 participants, representing 174 nationalities living in 186 countries, to rank the countries they were living in on a number of indices. These were grouped into four criteria – quality of life; ease of settling in; personal finance; and working abroad. The most popular destinations were ranked according to the scores given to them by expat residents.

Malta ranked 50th on the list of 59 destinations, with the dubious honour of the worst place for expats to live in being awarded to Kuwait, followed by Italy, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Japan, Cyprus, Turkey and India.

The number one destination to live in as voted by expats went to Taiwan, with Mexico, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Portugal featuring in the top spots.

When evaluating how happy they were with different aspects of quality of life in Malta, expats ranked the island 20th for leisure options, 43rd for safety and security, 46th for digital life, 25th for health and well-being, 56th for the quality of the environment, 56th for the quality of transport and travel and 48th for personal happiness.

Based on the aggregate, Malta was voted the sixth worst place to live in when considering quality of life.

According to expats, Malta ranked 35th when considering the ease of settling into the country, 31st in the experience of working in the country as a foreign national, 51st in maintaining personal finance and 35th when considering the cost of living.

A gradual slide to the bottom

Judging by the annual survey, Malta has been gradually sliding down the index based on the way expats feel about living and working on the island.

In 2019, Malta was dubbed the “biggest loser” on the index when it dropped from the 19th to the 38th position.

Last year was the first time the country featured among the bottom 10 countries on the index, ranking 52nd out of 60.

In 2020, Malta was the only European country ranked among the top 10 worst places to live in by expats.

The island was first included on the index in 2015, when it was ranked the third best place to live in for expats, with respondents citing high job satisfaction and work life balance as contributing factors to their choice, despite many saying they generated a lower income.

Malta slipped down to seventh place in the 2017 edition of the survey.

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