Malta loses its shine in latest expat survey

Malta loses its shine in latest expat survey

Malta loses its shine in latest expat survey

Malta’s shock survey result shows a shift in sentiment about the formerly popular expat destination.

In the past, the island of Malta has been highly rated as a destination for expats looking to work or retire either in its historical capital or in the charm of its rural regions. Sadly, the honeymoon seems over, as the recent Expat Insider survey shows Malta’s results have fallen in just about all categories. It would seem that expats’ perceptions of the island itself, its local people, the government and its all-important quality of life have changed beyond recognition. Although Malta was placed at 20th position overall, it’s now lagging behind other expat destinations including Vietnam, Panama, Malaysia and even Thailand.

Respondents to the survey numbered 18,000, and many results were more controversial than in previous surveys. One major concern was personal safety, with the island falling behind China, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan and only managing 38th place out of the 68 countries surveyed. In the ease of settling in category, Malta lost 14 places, ending up in 25th position and, in the important category of feeling at home, its previous year’s rating of sixth fell to a poor 22nd. In addition, only 36 per cent of respondents said local people were friendly towards expatriates. One disenchanted expat stated local attitudes are now distinctly unfriendly, making socialising difficult as a result.

Another disaster for the formerly much-loved island was its place in the crucial quality of life index, where it lost 19 places and ended up at 28th. Respondents cited a lack of leisure and social opportunities as well as suitable venues for both activities. One significant black mark was Malta’s political situation, with respondents stating corruption is endemic at all social levels as well as in the government.

Worse still, Malta’s public transport and travel options earned it the second-to-last place in the sector, behind Serbia, India, and Egypt. Its cost of living came out at a poor 33rd place, making the island more expensive than Cyprus, Russia, Spain and Germany. The new, very relevant, category of digital life only made 42nd place, in spite of the government’s pushing of its digital agenda and Malta’s nickname of ‘Blockchain Island’.

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