Travel

Don't move to the US if you want to be happy, study says

The land of the free and home of the free refills -- no matter how much anyone hates on America, there are still ample reasons to love the place that invented the Double Down. Well, that is, unless you're an expat living in the States.

According to HSBC's annual "Expat Explorer" report, the US is one of the worst places in the world to be an expat, ranking no. 30 out of 34 countries surveyed. The study ranks nations based on their economic and experiential value, as well as quality of family life.

To little surprise, Switzerland grabbed the top spot, thanks to stellar healthcare, sports, and local travel opportunities. Shania Twain and Tina Turner agreed with the study results, while Singapore, China, and Germany ranked just behind the Alps nation.

As for why the US ranked so low, Americans' strong work ethic takes blame; the US ranked lowest for its work/life balance, or really, just a general lack of life compared to work, coming in at no. 32, or third-worst in the world.  

Those free refills and fast food came into play, too, as both diet (no. 31) and healthcare (no. 26) weighed the US down. And with an average annual household income of $109,208, the US only came in at no. 22. 

On the bright side, the report shows expats integrate well into the American community, make friends easily, and have access to some of the best entertainment, local shops and markets (Walmart, obviously), and utilities in the world. Strip malls everywhere rejoice.

Bringing up the rear, Italy, Brazil, the UK, and Egypt all ranked below the US. No wonder 71% of expats say they're in America for the long haul.

Check out more of the report's findings here, and use its interactive function to find the country you should move to next.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant and resident Brit on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, she sees the irony in writing this. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.