A recent survey revealed that Canada, a popular expat and migrant destination for South Africans, is perceived as the seventh safest country in the world to live in – and the reason why it is so popular with South Africans plagued by crime and violence.
Canada placed a very respectable 13th amongst the 20 best places in the world to live, but if you don’t mind the cooler weather you are likely to score it even higher.
Trusted international opinion makers InterNations announced the results of their most recent survey of 12,500 expats, representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries or territories. Participants were asked to rate 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of 1 to 7.
Expats placed South Africa in the bottom five countries when it came to ranking their personal safety with some saying they spend money on additional safety features such as armed response, security guards and even vehicle security. Joining South Africa at the bottom is Nigeria, India and Kenya.
On the other end of the spectrum expats to Canada mostly motivate moving there for a better quality of life: 17% of respondents said this was their main motivation, and three-quarters (75%) also considered general living standards a potential benefit prior to moving.
Respondents are particularly happy with their personal safety — just 1% have something negative to say about this factor — as well as peacefulness, which 94% rate positively.
Canada also ranks a respectable 13th place in the Health & Well-Being subcategory of the Quality of Life Index. Three-quarters of respondents (75%) are generally satisfied with the affordability of healthcare — 42% even consider it very easy to afford — and Canada’s nature does the rest: an impressive 91% of respondents rate the quality of the environment positively, with more than half (54%) calling it very good.
The Quality of Life index took into account factors such as general personal happiness, access to leisure activities such as sport, travel and recreation while health and general well-being as well as safety and security were important considerations.
A destination needed at least 75 respondents to feature in this index.
The top three countries are:
3rd Spain scored highest on the Leisure options sub-index and also ranked highly (6th) for personal happiness.
1st Portugal’s popularity among expats, at least when it comes to quality of life, is largely due to its temperate climate and widely available leisure activities.