India ranks 36th out of 53 destinations for expats

India ranks 36th out of 53 destinations for expats but challenges related to quality of life and bureaucracy impact the overall satisfaction, according to the Expat Insider Survey 2023 conducted by InterNations.


Though India ranks 36th, the country maintains its position as one of the worst rated destinations in the Quality of Life Index for the tenth consecutive year (52nd). It also falls among the bottom 10 in the Expat Essentials Index (44th), primarily due to expats’ low satisfaction with digital life and administrative processes.


While India’s performance in the Working Abroad Index is average (33rd), it fares well in the Ease of Settling In Index (22nd). In the Personal Finance Index, India secures an impressive 9th place. Overall, 73% of expats express happiness with their life in India, aligning with the global average of 72%.


The survey highlights expats’ discontent with the air quality (73% unhappy, compared to 17% globally) and the urban environment, including green spaces and noise levels (67% unhappy, compared to 16% globally). Additionally, 55% of expats believe that the government does not prioritize environmental protection policies, significantly higher than the global average of 17%.


Safety concerns emerge as 73% of expats feel generally safe in India, compared to the global average of 83%. While 49% of expats worldwide consider their personal safety in their host countries as very good, only 31% of expats in India share this sentiment. Furthermore, 37% in India state that they cannot openly express themselves and their opinions, compared to 15% globally. In the safety and security subcategory, India ranks 48th.

Interestingly, all expats in India find purpose in their work, contrasting the global average of 8%. This could be attributed to the fields in which they work, with a significant number employed in education, coaching and consulting, as well as transportation and logistics. Additionally, 72% of them feel fairly compensated for their work.


Expats in India express satisfaction with their financial situation, with 72% reporting contentment compared to the global average of 58%. Furthermore, 61% of them feel that their disposable household income is more than sufficient for a comfortable life, compared to 44% globally.


Challenges arise in dealing with the local bureaucracy, with 69% of them finding it difficult, compared to 38% globally. Additionally, 36% rate the availability of government services online negatively, exceeding the global average of 21%.

The survey, which involved more than 12,000 expats representing 171 nationalities residing in 172 countries or territories, provides insights into everyday life abroad. While expats in India experience a sense of purpose and financial stability, they encounter obstacles related to the quality of life and bureaucratic processes.


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