Luxembourg still one of the best countries for expats

Last time updated
Luxembourg still one of the best countries for expats

Expat Insider's global country rankings are based on a survey of more than 12,000 expats around the world. Some countries are firmly established, while others, such as Luxembourg, are steadily moving up the rankings.

The best (and worst) countries for expats

Based on all the major factors and their averages, the researchers ranked the best and worst countries for migrants. Luxembourg is ranked 19th, as the country still has objective difficulties with housing and some social factors, but we will come back to that.

Mexico has been in first place for the past year. This country stands out from its competitors for the friendliness of its people, the ease of legalization, the availability of housing, and many other indicators. Only two European countries made it into the top 10:

  1. Mexico
  2. Spain
  3. Panama
  4. Malaysia
  5. Taiwan
  6. Thailand
  7. Costa Rica
  8. Philippines
  9. Bahrain
  10. Portugal

The 10 worst countries for emigration include some rather unusual countries. This is surprising, but, on the other hand, the difficulties for foreigners in these countries are obvious and often mentioned. These are the most unfortunate choices (from worst to better) among the 53 countries:

  1. Kuwait
  2. Norway
  3. Turkey
  4. South Korea
  5. Germany
  6. South Africa
  7. Italy
  8. Malta
  9. New Zealand
  10. Japan

The low standard of living, housing and security problems are the main complaints of people who have moved here. Poor recreational opportunities or lack of proper medical care are often added.

Quality of life

The quality of life index is made up of several sub-categories: leisure options, travel and transit, healthcare, safety and security, environment and climate.

This year, Luxembourg made a spectacular leap into the top 10 from 21st place last year, improving in almost all sub-categories except leisure. South Korea, however, lost its top position.

It is worth noting that 7 of the top 10 countries in terms of quality of life are in Europe: Spain, Finland, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Denmark. The worst countries in terms of the overall indicator were: Kuwait, India, Malta, Indonesia, South Africa, the Philippines, Vietnam, Ireland, Kenya and the United States.

Leisure and recreation

Well, the Grand Duchy is in the top 3 worst countries for leisure activities. Only Kuwait and Norway are worse. But it should be said that there are plenty of things to do in Luxembourg: the country has an impressive number of museums and sights. In fact, the rating took into account the accessibility and variety of all these components. And don't forget the nightlife: that's important too.

The best places in this category were Spain, Mexico and Hong Kong.

Travel and transit

Luxembourg ranks 5th in the world in terms of ease and level of organization of transportation. Being in the centre of Europe, it simply has to manage the flow of tourists and travellers efficiently. In addition, Luxembourg is famous for its large number of expats, so the convenience of transit is almost the main factor for the country's normal operation.

Just ahead of Luxembourg are Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Austria. South Africa, India and Indonesia are in the bottom three.


This is another category in which Luxembourg is firmly in the top 10. The country ranks 5th, behind Taiwan, South Korea, Qatar and Spain. However, Switzerland, which is consistently at the top of the list, ranks 33rd in medicine due to its high costs.

The worst countries in this category are Ireland, Indonesia and, as expected, the USA.


A well-deserved first place for the Grand Duchy. It even overtakes Switzerland and Finland, which are traditionally considered among the safest countries to live in.

And you won't be able to relax for long in South Africa, Turkey and Colombia.

Environment and climate

Here, Luxembourg could not maintain its position in the top 10. However, it is ranked 12th. Still, Luxembourg's climate may not be comfortable for everyone: the country has a lot of rain and slush. Although in the spring and summer of 2023, the rainfall norm has not yet been met.

The worst climatic conditions are in South Africa, India and Malta.

Ease of settling in

This is the second most important aspect for a migrant. What will the legalization process be like, will you become one of the locals or will you remain an eternal guest? The answers to these key questions are also collected in the corresponding ranking.

The Nordic countries traditionally score poorly on the Ease of settling in index. This year, however, Finland moved up an impressive 13 places to 31st out of 53. Only 13% of expats find it difficult to adapt to the local culture (compared to 18% globally), which is much lower than in 2022. However, it's still not easy for expats to make friends with locals.

Luxembourg has also made an impressive leap, rising 12 places to 34th out of 53. With 24% of expats finding the environment unfriendly, the country is being dragged down by its hospitality score. At the same time, 66% of newcomers say they feel at home here.

Working abroad

Luxembourg ranks 2nd in the Work Abroad Index. The local economy is a key factor in this success — the vast majority of expats in Luxembourg (96%) rate it positively (compared with 62% globally).

More than three-quarters (77%) are satisfied with their jobs in Luxembourg (only 59% globally). The Great Dutchy is also a good place for expats looking for better career prospects: 73% say they have improved since moving (vs. 59% globally), with 41% giving it the highest possible rating (vs. 32% globally). Nearly two-thirds (66%) say they are satisfied with their personal career opportunities, compared to the global average of 57%.

Job satisfaction in Luxembourg is high for 75% of respondents. In addition, 70% say they are generally satisfied with their work-life balance, an impressive result compared to the global average of 63%.

Disadvantages of the country

Unfortunately, Luxembourg didn't make the top 10 best countries for expats. There are good reasons for this. Nevertheless, 19th place in the ranking is an impressive result. In the overall ranking, Luxembourg showed the greatest improvement and rise in position: from 48th place in 2022 to 19th place in 2023. Looking at individual aspects, the Grand Duchy is either at or near the top in most cases.

The country has seen rapid progress in many major areas: digitalization, healthcare, stability and security, and others. Expats continue to give high marks when it comes to administrative issues (3rd in the ranking).

But old problems remain: unrealistic challenges in finding and renting housing (52nd in the ranking), high employment requirements, and few leisure options.

However, it cannot be said that these problems will remain unresolved for the next few years. It is quite possible that Luxembourg will soon take its well-deserved place in the top 10 best countries for expats.