Expats give Kazakhstan high marks in new InterNations report

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan has shown the biggest improvement in the 2019 InterNations Business Solutions Expat Insider report, moving 27 ranks up to 22nd place from 49th spot in 2018. Along with Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Qatar have also shown huge improvements with respective 21 and 20 points up comparing to their 2018 scores – thus being nominated “biggest winners” of the 2019 survey.

The 2019 report analysed the feedback of 20,259 foreign workers representing 182 nationalities across 187 countries.  Participants were mostly living and working in Germany, the United States, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, but input was also taken from expats in countries such as Aruba, Vanuatu, or Turkmenistan.

Overall ranking is based on factors such as the quality of life, ease of settling, personal finance, working abroad and family life, and then divided into different subcategories with respective sub-scores that together contribute to the total ranking of a destination. 

The report notes “Kazakhstan has made big strides across the subcategories and expats seem satisfied,” with improvements made in “career prospects and satisfaction,” “feeling at home,” and “transportation infrastructure.” In addition, Kazakhstan is globally ranked 2nd for “personal finance” and 4th for “career prospects and satisfaction.” 

As 80 percent of expats from Kazakhstan said it took them less than six months to find a job, which is above the global average of 54 percent, the report suggests higher exports, economic development and the GDP growth rate at 4.1 percent may positively influence the high scores in the index.

“The affordability of everything” is also among the favourable conditions. In fact, a large share of respondents say financial reasons motivated them to relocate to Kazakhstan. In a separate index on Cost of Living, only 9 percent of survey participants gave Kazakhstan a negative rating. 

Seventy-nine percent of respondents from Kazakhstan are happy with their life abroad, compared to 68 percent in 2018 and 75 percent globally. In the Working Abroad Index, Kazakhstan has improved 21 spots, making it into the top five for career prospects and satisfaction. In 2019, 58 percent of respondents said they are generally happy with their career options and 22 percent said they are very happy with their career options.

The country has improved for all factors related to relocating, especially with 31 points in the Feeling at Home subcategory. Twenty-six percent of respondents found it very easy to get used to the local culture, compared to 13 percent in 2018, and 27 percent agree completely that it’s easy to settle down, 16 percentage points more than in 2018. 

When it comes to quality of life, 23 percent of expats said they are happy with socialising and leisure activities, 74 percent are overall satisfied with the transportation infrastructure, compared to 51 percent last year. 

“I love Kazakhstan, its people and its rich culture,” said a respondent, the report reads. It ranks Kazakhstan 12th in the Finding Friends subcategory.

To be featured in the study, a sample size of respondents per destination must be no less than 75. This year, 64 countries were included in the report that focuses on a large and diverse audience of expats moving globally for a variety of reasons. 

Taiwan, Vietnam, Portugal placed at the top three positions in the report, while Kuwait, Italy and Nigeria came out last at the 64th, 63rd and 62nd.

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