Italy ranked one of the worst countries for expats to work in - again

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Italy ranked one of the worst countries for expats to work in - again
Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Italy has been rated as one of the hardest places in the world for foreigners to work by InterNations' annual survey of expatriate workers, with half of all respondents rating the country’s employment prospects poorly.


The survey ranked Italy 52nd out of 53 expatriate destinations in its Working Abroad Index, with the report’s authors writing that “complicated bureaucratic issues and dissatisfying working conditions make life frustrating for expats” in the country.

The only country rated as more difficult for foreigners to work in was Turkey.

Italy also came second to last in the Career Prospects Subcategory with nearly half of respondents saying they are unhappy with the local job market (47 percent vs. 26 percent globally).

And Italy ranked last worldwide for overall job satisfaction, and fifth from bottom for salary satisfaction, with many who have moved to Italy saying they do not feel they are paid fairly. 

In a finding that may surprise those who see Italy as the land of la dolce vita, the country was also in the bottom 10 for both working hours (coming 46th) and work-life balance (44th), with respondents reporting that Italian business culture “does not support creativity, flexibility, or independent work”.

Though Italy ranked slightly above average for its general cost of living (25th), one in three expats in the country said they were unhappy with their financial situation.


This is far from the first of InterNations' annual Expat Life surveys to find that Italy is a tough place to make a living, with past editions of the study producing similar results.

The country has also consistently ranked poorly for bureaucracy and digital services. 


In the Admin Topics Subcategory, Italy came second to last this year as 72 percent of international residents said they find it hard to deal with Italian bureaucracy - nearly double the global average of 38 percent.

Source: Internations

And though more government services have moved online in recent years, over two in five expats were still unhappy with the availability - twice the global average.

Italy also scored poorly on cashless payment options (44th) and high-speed internet access at home (47th) again this year.

On the positive side, Italy came 17th in the Leisure Options Subcategory. Notably, the majority (80 percent) said they were happy with the culinary offering and dining options.


And, while 57 percent reported that it's difficult to live in Italy without speaking Italian, over half said they at least find the language easy to learn.

READ ALSO: Not just teaching: The jobs you can do in Italy without speaking Italian

These positives weren’t enough to spare Italy from being ranked 47th out of 53 destinations, putting it among the “worst” countries to move to worldwide alongside Turkey, South Korea, Germany, South Africa, Malta, New Zealand, and Japan.

According to the survey, Mexico is the best destination for international residents, followed by Spain, Panama, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Bahrain, and Portugal.

InterNations describes itself as "the world's largest expat community", with more than 4.8 million members, and this is the 10th edition of its annual Expat Insider survey.


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