Estonia has slipped from the 11th to the 29th place in the Expat Insider ranking of countries for foreign talents; however, in terms of work culture and job satisfaction, Estonia secured the top spot, ranking second for minimal bureaucracy and third for its digital lifestyle.
The foreign talents participating in the survey praised Estonia for its excellent work culture, low hierarchy, opportunities for independent work, and flexibility. One participant from the Philippines currently living in Estonia said, “I truly appreciate the start-up environment here, as well as the innovation and creativity of the locals.”
Participants also rated the balance between work and leisure and the availability of career opportunities as being higher than average.
“The survey confirms our strengths – low bureaucracy, excellent opportunities for remote work and a safe living environment, which attract international talents to work in Estonia,” Leonardo Ortega, the head of Work in Estonia, said.
However, Estonia fell significantly in the salary satisfaction category, moving from 20th to 45th place. Nearly a third of the foreign talents working in Estonia are dissatisfied with their financial situation.
Inflation has not gone unnoticed
“Estonia’s rapid inflation and the rising cost of living have not gone unnoticed by international talents. Issues like finding an English-speaking family doctor or limited language learning opportunities are also challenges, but we are addressing these, for example, by offering support in finding a family doctor or language learning consultations at the International House of Estonia,” Ortega said.
In terms of health-care accessibility, Estonia dropped from 24th to 38th place. Additionally, the country was behind in offering language learning opportunities.
According to the survey, Mexico remains the top choice for foreign talents, maintaining its position from the previous year and consistently ranking in the top five since the survey’s inception. Spain and Panama followed in second and third places, respectively. Countries with high living costs like Kuwait and Norway, along with politically unstable Turkey, found themselves at the bottom of the rankings.
“The battle for top talents is global, and as a small country, Estonia first needs to introduce itself to foreign talents. While we might not be able to compete with the climate or the friendliness of places like Mexico or Spain, we have our strengths,” said Ortega, who hails from Mexico.
The Expat Insider 2023 survey, conducted by the expatriate community Internations, saw the participation of over 12,000 foreign talents from 171 nationalities and residing in 172 countries. The participants evaluated their satisfaction across 56 parameters, such as living costs, accessibility of housing, career opportunities, high-speed internet access, socialising opportunities, and accessibility to healthcare services.