Do you think of the U.S. and Canada as exceedingly friendly places? Well, Mexico has both countries beat by a mile.
Mexico is No. 1 in an international expat survey on “finding friends.” The country was ranked second last year.
Mexico also ranked No. 1 in the world in an expat survey for “ease of settling in.” That honor has come to Mexico three years in a row.
Mexico also made gains in the “feeling welcome” subcategory, where it now comes in second place (compared to third in 2015 and fifth in 2014).
Mexico dropped slightly in the “friendliness” and “language” subcategories, but not enough to cost it its spot at the top of the podium.
The Expat Insider 2016 index by InterNations comes from a survey of more than 14,000 respondents.
Globally, only 12 percent of expats completely agree that it’s easy to make local friends, in Mexico this percentage is nearly one-third. Nearly eight in 10 expats in Mexico find it easy to make new friends in general, while globally only six in 10 feel the same.
Over double the global average of 16 percent completely agree that it is easy to settle down in Mexico, 33 percent. Although it only comes in fourth place this year in the “friendliness” subcategory, 93 percent of expats are still happy with the general friendliness of the population.
Only this year’s newcomer Taiwan beats Mexico in terms of friendliness towards foreign residents. Half of the expats in Mexico are extremely happy in this regard, over twice the global average of 24 percent. But it’s a good thing that learning Spanish is generally considered easy by 63 percent of expats, as 43 percent find life in Mexico difficult without speaking it — slightly above the global average of 40 percent.
Taiwan, Uganda and Costa Rica were the most friendly countries, followed by Mexico and Colombia. Meanwhile, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait were found to be the least friendly.
Canada was 14th and the U.S. ranked 25th for friendliness.
All the rankings can be found in the report.