Where Are the World's Friendliest Countries?

Making friends as an expatriate can sometimes be difficult, but not in these countries.
Making friends as an expatriate can sometimes be difficult, but not in these countries.

If you have ever spent a long stretch of time in a foreign country, you will know that it can sometimes be challenging. You need to learn a new language, adjust to a new climate and culture, and building your social life will not be easy as you may find a hard time integrating with the locals. It is different from one country to the other, as some countries tend to be more hospitable and welcoming than others.

A survey surrounding friendliness around the world was conducted from data and comments supplied to InterNations in a 2018 survey. InterNations is the largest international information and network site for expats in the world and received this data from approximately 13,000 people who were working in 188 different countries. The following countries, according to the survey, are the friendliest in the world.

10. Canada

Of the expats who were engaged about Canada, 81% said that they had a friendly attitude from Canadians while 43% had local friends. 45% of the expats would like to stay in Canada in the long run.

9. Vietnam

The Vietnamese have a reputation amongst expats for being rather friendly, placing them in ninth place on this list. 83% of expats encountered a friendly attitude with 56% of expats striking a friendship with the locals. 16% said they would like to stay forever.

8. Colombia

Editorial credit: Gary C. Tognoni / Shutterstock.com.

Compared to their North American or European counterparts, Colombians seem more open and extroverted. Generally, they are fun-loving, friendly and they are known to be happy-go-lucky. Their attitude is most portrayed in how they go out, dance and celebrate. Colombia ranks as the eighth friendliest country worldwide with 87% of expats having confirmed this friendly attitude. 56% had an easy time making Colombian friends while 16% of the expats have a likelihood of staying there forever.

7. Oman

Oman people are the happiest people in the Gulf and they expect the same for their visitors. They are known to be forthcoming, hospitable and very friendly. 86% of expats in Oman received a friendly attitude from the locals, whom 60% of the expats turned into close friends. 12% of the expats are reportedly planning to stay there for life.

6. Costa Rica

Coming sixth in this list are the Costa Ricans. They are described by expats as polite, gentle, friendly, spirited and generally kind. It is no surprise that Costa Rica is the country of “Pura Vida” which means “Pure Life”. 87% of the expats said they had encountered a friendly attitude from Costa Ricans while 78% of the expats already had made good friends with them. A whopping 48% confessed to likely stay permanently in Costa Rica.

5. Bahrain

One of the things that makes Bahrain unique amongst countries all over the world is how easy Bahrainis strike friendships with the expats in their country. Many foreigners agree that this is a fact that helps them settle in easily. Bahrain came fifth on this list, with 86% of expatriates saying that the locals are friendly towards outsiders. Those who found it easy to make Bahraini friends were 55% while those who were considering a permanent stay in Bahrain accounted for 11% of the expats asked.

4. Cambodia

Editorial credit: CatwalkPhotos / Shutterstock.com.

Cambodians have a reputation for hospitality. This is in spite of the country's harrowing not-so-distant past that may life very hard for many of its people. Many foreign visitors said that Cambodians are friendly, courteous and welcoming. More than 92% of the expats who spoke to InterNations agreed that Cambodians had a friendly attitude towards them with 59% of the expats making friends within the Cambodian locals. 23% of them agreed that they were most likely staying in Cambodia forever.

3. Mexico

Coming in third place for friendliness was Mexico. Mexico locals were described as foreign travelers as very sweet and always smiling. 87% of expats who spoke to InterNations agreed that the Mexicans’ attitude towards expats was friendly while 735 of them found it easy making friends with them. 39% of those asked said they were likely to stay there forever.

2. Taiwan

In previous polls, Taiwan has been ranked as the friendliest place on Earth. This drop to position two does not mean that the Taiwanese have developed some hostility towards foreigners. Most of the people who were asked about Taiwan said Taiwanese were friendly people who often took it upon themselves to help the rest. 86% of expats said that the Taiwanese have a friendly attitude towards them, 61% said it was easy to make local friends while 30% said they were likely to stay there forever.

1. Portugal

Portugal is considered to be the world's friendliest country for expats. In the survey, expats reported that that Portugal’s local population was helpful and friendly and that people in Portugal looked after each other. Out of five expats who were engaged, about 79% of them agreed that the Portuguese are welcoming while out of ten, while around 29% told InterNations that they mostly had Portuguese locals in their social circles.


More in World Facts