This week Yahoo! Travel reported on the latest results from the interNations Expat Insider 2014 survey,which is the largest of its kind,interviewing nearly 14,000 expats from more than 160 countries worldwide to evaluate their experiences living abroad. Not surprisingly,Mexico ranked high across the board,reaching No. 3 in the overall category of Top Expat Destinations in 2014; that’s two points higher than the U.S.,which came in at No. 5.
“Nine in ten expats (91 percent) are pleased with their expat life in Mexico,the same percentage as the overall winner,Ecuador,” states the survey summary. “An unrivalled 97 percent of participants answer positively when asked about the general friendliness of the population,and 94 percent agree that the local population has a friendly attitude towards foreign residents.”
As a result,Mexico was named No. 1 overall on this year’s Ease of Settling Index,which also named it No. 1 for friendliness. In other categories,Mexico ranked No. 7 for affordability on the InterNations 2014 Costs of Living Index,and No. 4 on the Quality of Life index for Personal Happiness among expats.
“Mexico is more popular as a long-term home – 44 percent of expats said they want to stay there forever,” writes Yahoo! Travel. “It also earns high marks for settling in,and the country must be romantic for a lot of people,because 19 percent moved here for love.”
Around 1 million expats are currently living in Mexico according to International Living,and that trend is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact,the Huffington Post named Mexico one of the world’s “Easiest Places to Retire Overseas” just last month,and CNN reported that “U.S. Retirees Are Living Well in Mexico” in late June.
Playa del Carmen,Puerto Vallarta,Tulum,Puerto Aventuras,Cabo San Lucas,Cancun and Mérida are just a few of Mexico’s many popular expat destinations,which can be found throughout the country in some of its most beautiful locales.
“Expats can be found all over Mexico,” writes the Yucatán Times. “In big cities,tiny villages,beach hotspots and mountain towns.”
It’s important to note that Mexico is a unique destination for expats,in part because it offers a choice of beach towns on a number of different coasts. Among the many shorelines,expats,locals and visitors alike enjoy pristine soft sand beaches,breathtaking rocky outcroppings and stunning coastline,which gives way alternately to lush jungle,arid desert,or scenic mountains,depending on the locale.
For example,the Baja Peninsula is on Mexico’s western coast and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez),where Cabo San Lucas is located,while Puerto Vallarta lies just to the southeast of here and overlooks the Pacific’s scenic Bay of Banderas. On Mexico’s eastern side,the Gulf of Mexico hovers just north of the Caribbean Sea,which borders the coast along Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula,home to the popular seaside destinations of Cancun,Playa del Carmen,Puerto Aventuras,Cozumel and Tulum.
Popular inland destinations include San Miguel de Allende,which lies in the far eastern portion of the state of Guanajuato in central Mexico and is one of the nation’s prettiest and best-preserved colonial cities,as well as Mérida,a Spanish-colonial city located in the northern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula,just a half hour from the Gulf Coast,which boasts its very own international airport and a thriving expat community of around 4,000 people.
“What the data doesn’t take into account are those who don’t register or who are only in Mexico for part of the year (i.e. snowbirds),” writes the Yucatán Times. “Since places like Quintana Roo,Cancun and Playa del Carmen contain the seasonal homes of many from the U.S.,a visit to one of those places would have you wondering why every city on the entire Yucatán Peninsula didn’t make the list.”
What’s your favorite city in Mexico and why? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments section below!