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Russia Ranked Among Worst Destinations for Expat Living

Russia outperformed only South Africa, Italy and Kuwait across a range of categories including quality of life and ease of settling in. Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Russia is among the “worst” countries for living and working abroad, according to the 2021 survey published by the expat community organization InterNations on Tuesday.

Russia ranked 56th out of 59 countries on the list, outperforming only South Africa, Italy and Kuwait across a range of categories that evaluated expats’ general satisfaction with life in their new home.

InterNations divided dozens of questions into 13 subcategories and five broad indices: working abroad, quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance and cost of living.

Russia performed worst in the working abroad category, where it ranked 52nd. Around one in five expats in Russia expressed unhappiness with their job security and gave bad marks to the local economy.

Expats rated Russia 49th in quality of life, 48th in ease of settling in and 47th in personal finance. 

Russia had a poor quality of life rating due to expats expressing unhappiness with Russia’s climate and weather as well as its air quality, water and sanitation infrastructure. Under ease of settling, Russia ranked behind only Japan in language difficulty. And in personal finance, over one-quarter of the expats said their disposable household income was not enough to cover expenses.

Russia’s only positive rating came in the cost of living category, where it ranked 25th.

Taiwan topped InterNations’ Expat Insider 2021 Survey for the third year in a row, with a majority of expats satisfied with their jobs, the economy, affordability and life in general.

On the effect of the global coronavirus pandemic, which played no role in the overall ranking, expats in Russia were more likely than the global average to say they expect it to affect their work or business in the long run (22% versus 16%), but decided to not move back home in the near future (20% versus 18%). Fewer expats than the global average said they were satisfied with Russia’s official communication regarding Covid-19 and its safety precautions (51% versus 66%), InterNations said.

InterNations, one of the world’s largest expat communities with some 4 million members, based its ranking on a survey of 14,420 expats living in 59 countries.

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