Luxembourg loses on housing in expat ranking

Luxembourg ranked 38th overall out of 52 countries in an expat essentials list, but it scored poorly on housing. Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg ranked 38th overall out of 52 countries in an expat essentials list, but it scored poorly on housing. Photo: Shutterstock

Luxembourg in a ranking of countries based on access to a list of expat essentials in different areas landed in the bottom three for housing, with an overall 38th place out of 52 nations assessed.

The InterNations expat network on Tuesday published its Expat Essentials Index, which looks at how easy some life basics are to come by in different countries.

Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Estonia and Oman are the top five countries for expat essentials, according to the ranking.

Bahrain, for example, placed highly for administrative matters, such as getting a visa or dealing with local bureaucracy. It also scored highly on languages, with most people saying you don’t need to learn the local language to live there. There is plenty of housing available and it’s not too expensive, with a reasonable amount of government services available online.

Luxembourg had its highest score in the admin topics category--ranking fourth globally behind Estonia, Bahrain and the UAE. It scored 20th for digital life and 31st for language. But it lost points in the housing category, placing 50th just ahead of New Zealand and Ireland, where it is even more difficult to find accommodation.

Estonia topped the digital life and admin topics categories, while Singapore ranked highest for language, mostly because English is widely spoken and there’s no need to learn local languages.

The worst countries for expats overall were Italy, Kuwait, China, Japan and Germany, which placed 52nd. The Luxembourg neighbour’s highest score was in administration, where it placed 36th, but Germany fared poorly on digitalisation (48th), housing (47th) and language (49th).

Belgium scored 22nd overall, while France placed 44th. The Netherlands placed 25th, with its score also depleted by housing, where it ranked just one place ahead of Luxembourg, coming in 49th.

The InterNations ranking is based on replies by expats living in the locations, with a minimum of 50 respondents needed to feature in the index. Participants ranked factors in the four categories on a scale of 1 to 7.

For Luxembourg, 75 people participated. More than a quarter (27%) have lived in Luxembourg for over a decade, with 23% having lived in the country five to ten years, and 16% each between six months to one year and three to five years.

Nearly a third (31%) said they intend to stay in Luxembourg indefinitely. The expats who participated moved to Luxembourg for work, with 27% saying they found their job themselves, 19% being recruited internationally, and 19% moving for their partner’s job or education. 

The Expat Essentials index is one of five rankings that together make up the Expat Insider Ranking, which featured Luxembourg as one of the worst destinations for expats in its 2022 edition, in place 48 out of 52.