When céad míle fáilte isn’t enough: Ireland 23rd in friendliness

Poor weather, healthcare and cost of living receive low ratings in survey of expats

The St Patrick’s Day Parade winds its way through Dublin city centre. File photograph: Eric Luke

The St Patrick’s Day Parade winds its way through Dublin city centre. File photograph: Eric Luke


While Ireland may be known for its “céad míle fáilte” it comes just 23rd in terms of friendliness according to a survey of expats.

Ireland ranks 56th overall in the Expat Insider 2016 index by InterNations of 191 countries, with quality of life, ease of setting in, personal finance and cost of living all taken into account.

Just 4 per cent feel negatively about the general friendless of the population compared to 15 per cent globally. Three quarters of expats in Ireland feel the local culture is generally easy to get used to.

Taiwan, Uganda and Costa Rica ranked the most friendly countries, while the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were found to be the least friendly.

In terms of personal finance, Ireland ranks 65th with a quarter of expats here unsatisfied with their financial situation compared to 17 per cent globally.

Ireland also ranks low in the cost of living (50th) with nearly half saying they considered it to be a possible disadvantage prior to moving.

When it comes to the quality of life, the local climate and weather seem to be one of the biggest problems for expats.

“Not one respondent in Ireland rates the climate and weather as very good, while 16 per cent - the highest percentage of all countries - state that it is in fact very bad,” the index says.

“The transport infrastructure does little to improve the quality of life with 36 per cent saying it is generally bad compared to just a quarter globally.”

Healthcare is another sore point for expats in Ireland. The quality of medical care is viewed as good overall by just 36 per cent (62 per cent worldwide) while the affordability of healthcare is rated negatively by the majority of expats (51 per cent).

Taiwan was named the best overall expat destination in the world, followed by Malta and Ecuador. Kuwait, Greece and Nigeria were found to be the worst destinations overall for expats to live.