has recently released the results of their Expat Insider Survey 2014, a polling of nearly 14,000 expats around the globe which aims to “provide a comprehensive picture of life abroad: Focusing on the general quality of life, it identifies the most popular expat destinations. Topics covered include work, family, relationships and romance, leisure, and personal finances.” Overall, China comes in middle of the pack with an aggregate ranking of 38th out of 61. See the following infograph for more details: China Country Report

Check out the full article for a more in depth analysis of the results, but some quick key take-aways:

  • Unsurprisingly, the low cost of living receives high marks from China expats, with 48% of respondents finding their local cost of living to be either good or very good (compared to the global average of 35%).
  • China ranks 52nd out of 61 on the index for ease of settling in. Only 23% of those surveyed felt that it was easy to get used to local culture — compared to 41% globally, and a rather dismal 12% of expats in China feel “completely at home” here.
  • While China rates about average for several aspects of family life and childcare, both schooling and health/safety are areas expatriates have issues with. While globally 32% of expats feel education choices are numerous and readily available, only 16% of China expats felt likewise. And when it comes to being happy about their children’s health and safety, 25% feel unhappy, compared to only 11% world-wide.

In general, it appears the survey mirrors about what I would expect. I will say though that even the relatively high 25% mentioned in that last point above seems low. Of the expats (and ex-expats) I’ve spoken to, their number one reason for planning to leave (or leaving) China is the health and safety of their children. As a parent myself, a lot of the things that are easy to embrace or forgive when you’re just responsible for your own health are tougher to ignore when you have dependents.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts about the survey’s results and how you sit in the stats. Please leave your comments below. And to satiate any curiosity on where other countries land in the results, here’s the full list of expat destinations for 2014: Top Expat Destinations 2014

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