where the friendly people are

**update below**

“World’s Friendliest Countries”

“These are the … nations where it’s easiest to befriend locals, learn the local language, integrate into the community and fit into the new culture, according to the results of HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey [opens pdf], released last month.

1. New Zealand
2. Australia
3. South Africa
4. Canada
5. United States….

“To determine which were the friendliest, Forbes isolated the results in four categories: ability to befriend locals, success in learning the local language, capacity for integrating themselves into the community, and ease in which they fit into the new culture….

“The least friendly country for expats, according to the Forbes formula, was the United Arab Emirates. And among the countries most challenging for expats overall were Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Russia and India, according to this year’s HSBC survey results. India ranked in last place for the second year in a row….

“The HSBC survey’s top three overall scorers—Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates—didn’t fare so well in categories relating to community integration and befriending locals. What did impress expats living in each of these countries, however, were improved career prospects and high incomes….”

update 01/19: see, tho, matt’s comment (thnx, matt!) and my response.

(note: comments do not require an email. kiwi!)

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17 Comments

  1. Hmm. India’s unfriendliness is news to the many thousands of Israeli (and other) backpackers who travel there each year.

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  2. @ihtg – “India’s unfriendliness is news to the many thousands of Israeli (and other) backpackers who travel there each year.”

    yeah, but backpackers don’t stay put, do they? they’re not living in india. there are a lot of cultures that have strong traditions about being hospitable to travellers — esp. arab cultures — but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be friendly to individuals moving in to their territory.

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  3. “1. New Zealand
    2. Australia
    3. South Africa
    4. Canada
    5. United States”

    I’m rather surprised by the presence of South Africa, and the absence of Sweden and Norway.

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  4. I’d guess the main push is that Anglosphere folk are comparatively mobile (at least within the classification expat, rather than “random economic migrant”) and find it easy to assimilate into other Anglosphere cultures, as the culture is relatively homogenous in meaningful ways.

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  5. @georgia resident – “I’m rather surprised by the presence of South Africa, and the absence of Sweden and Norway.”

    ah! well, sweden and norway were not part of the survey. here’s the full list of countries where expats were surveyed (interesting that the more hard-core germanic countries — germany and switzerland — did not make the top 5):

    Australia
    Bahrain
    Belgium
    Brazil
    Canada
    China
    Egypt
    France
    Germany
    Hong Kong
    India
    Italy
    Japan
    Malaysia
    Mexico
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Philippines
    Qatar
    Russia
    Saudi Arabia
    Singapore
    South Africa
    Spain
    Switzerland
    Thailand
    Turkey
    United Arab Emirates
    United Kingdom
    United States
    Vietnam

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  6. @matt – “I’d guess the main push is that Anglosphere folk are comparatively mobile … and find it easy to assimilate into other Anglosphere cultures, as the culture is relatively homogenous in meaningful ways.”

    the description in the report of the expats surveyed says they are “from four continents.” i took that to mean originally from, in which case this is not just a survey of anglosphere folks. could be wrong about that, though. the hsbc report is not very clear on exactly who they surveyed.

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  7. @matt – still couldn’t find any proper info on who the respondents were on the hsbc expat survey. skimming through some of the country reports, i could see that it’s not just anglos that were surveyed — some of the other countries that expats came from include: denmark, france, hong kong, india and the netherlands.

    however, it does look like the sample was heavily anglo, so you’re prolly right — mostly anglos having not a very hard time integrating into other anglo societies.

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  8. Expats working in New Zealand would be largely insulated in enclaves, such as Auckland’s North Shore and Eastern suburbs.

    Like Sydney, the city is now heading for balkanization with areas favoured by Chinese, Punjabis, Fiji Indians, Maori, Pacific Islanders, and South Africans, white and black, leaving their rainbow nation for our little rainbow nation.

    The northern part of NZ, inc Auckland, is now majority minority. So far most people seem tolerant and friendly and just pleased to be here.

    Having my rug-rethink last week, the lady who cut my hair was a black Sth African, the owner was a Brazilian woman and the guy cutting the next person’ hair was Chilean.
    Most customers seemed to be Sth African and Brazilian.

    Then some laps at the local pool, where the lifeguards are mostly Islanders, but one lifeguard I am picking is an ex Sudanese child-soldier. He has vivid facial scars, and yes- only one arm. He works in the shallow area.
    In the spa pool I was very much in a minority- I was the only one without a tattoo. (:

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  9. @svk – “one lifeguard I am picking is an ex Sudanese child-soldier. He has vivid facial scars, and yes – only one arm. He works in the shallow area.”

    you can’t make this stuff up, i swear! life is stranger than … anything you could imagine. or anything i could imagaine, anyway. (~_^)

    (poor kid, btw.)

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  10. “ah! well, sweden and norway were not part of the survey. here’s the full list of countries where expats were surveyed (interesting that the more hard-core germanic countries — germany and switzerland — did not make the top 5):”

    My mistake.

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  11. “So far most people seem tolerant and friendly and just pleased to be here.”

    That’s not so uncommon with first-generation immigrants. They typically are aware of how good they have it in the host country compared to their home country. The real problem is that their kids, who don’t have as much, if any, experience with how terrible life is in the home country and simply notice that they are typically of lower social and economic status than other people in the country they spent most or all of their childhood in, tend to be resentful and dangerous. In the US, additionally, lower-class Hispanics tend to assimilate into black underclass culture, which is pretty much poison to any aspirations beyond living in the ghetto and collecting welfare. The “La Raza” types who want to detach the Southwest from the US, or overwhelm whites demographically, are typically second or even third-generation Hispanic immigrants.

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  12. “The real problem is that their kids, who don’t have as much, if any, experience with how terrible life is in the home country..”

    Yes that is certainly happening with some Pacific island and Maori kids, and now Somalis moving in also.

    The lefties in charge here constantly measure NZ social statistics against those of the Swedens of the world, and we invariably fall short….giving the excuse to throw yet more money at bad ideas.

    They don’t notice or see as relevant the fact that those Nordic countries don’t have sizeable Polynesian minorites , which had to be brought up to speed in 150 years.
    Lefties pretending to believe that all people being completely fungible.

    Unfortunately for NZ, many of the brightest and most individualistic Maori and other Polynesians go to Australia to get away from their own fractious politicians, and the clutches of their extended families.

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  13. @georgia resident – “That’s not so uncommon with first-generation immigrants. They typically are aware of how good they have it in the host country compared to their home country. The real problem is that their kids, who don’t have as much, if any, experience with how terrible life is in the home country and simply notice that they are typically of lower social and economic status than other people in the country they spent most or all of their childhood in, tend to be resentful and dangerous.”

    yes, i think you’re absolutely right. it’s the second (and third and fourth…) generation that starts to have “issues.” you see this, too, with muslim immigrants in europe (or the u.k. anyway) — it’s the second generation that’s more radical and wants sharia for all, etc., etc.

    kids these days! =/

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  14. @svk – “Unfortunately for NZ, many of the brightest and most individualistic Maori and other Polynesians go to Australia to get away from their own fractious politicians, and the clutches of their extended families.”

    that’s too bad — for nz, that is.

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  15. @hbd chick: It certainly is. On the bright side, it means that Australians have a very positive image of Maori. Given New Zealanders can move over the ditch even more easily than Poles moving to the UK, if we could only encourage the least bright and most tribal minorities to move over to Aus before they realized we’d be good as gold.

    Reply

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