Vietnam voted second among 64 destinations around the world for expats back in 2019, but what about in 2022?

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Vietnam voted second among 64 destinations around the world for expats back in 2019, but what about in 2022?

Back in September 2019, nine of ten expat respondents said they were happy with their life in Vietnam, compared to a global average of 74 percent.

Has the sentiment changed in 2021?

Then in 2019, according to, the high rate put Vietnam second among 64 destinations around the world in an annual ranking compiled by InterNations, the largest global community and information site for people who live and work abroad with 3.6 million members.

The survey that was conducted among 20,260 respondents representing 182 nationalities from 187 countries or territories.

Vietnams had a remarkable climb up from 14th position out of 68 destinations that year.

The Expat Insider 2019 survey covered quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, family life, personal finance, and cost of living.

Negative points

Vietnam however did lag behind in terms of digital life where it was ranked 51st, with, for example, just about half the respondents finding it easy to make cashless payments versus 79 percent globally.

Another dissatisfying factor was the quality of the environment, which was rated negatively by 57 percent, versus 20 percent globally.

Compared to Southeast Asian peers, Vietnam was the best destination in three of the five main indices – personal finance, cost of living and working abroad. The other two categories are ease of settling and quality of life.

In 2019, the top 10 destinations on the overall index are: Taiwan, Vietnam, Portugal, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, Bahrain, Ecuador, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic.

So where are we now?

Firstly In 2020, the population of Vietnam was estimated to reach 97.58 million, indicating an increase by over a million people from the previous year. Vietnam is among the most populated countries in the ASEAN region.

The urban population in Vietnam stood at approximately 36.35 million people.

The major urban cities are Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Can Tho, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Bien Hoa.

Expats here?

In 2004, there were 12,600 foreign workers in the country, and by July of 2019 this figure had increased significantly.

According to the Ministry of Labour (2019 data) there were about 83,500 expats in Vietnam.

Since then, the pandemic has set in, and many businesses have either closed or had to reduce their work force.

According to in 2020, the net migration rate in Vietnam was -0.25. (Persons leaving the country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population) was 0.25% in 2020.)

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities have been adjusting visa policies for foreigners staying in Vietnam.

This is making it more difficult to work in Vietnam if you do not have a work visa or a sponsor for making the necessary documents.

In other words, if you are still working in Vietnam with a tourist visa or an illegal work permit, you are making money illegally in Vietnam.

Leaving due to the delays in Vaccination

Vietnam, to put it quiet, frankly, is still a developing country, so, understandably, still has many restrictions on social regimes.

At a time when the Covid epidemic is still heavily affecting the economy, it is very necessary to conduct a vaccination program for all the citizens in the country.

However, since Vietnam is still unable to produce vaccines, they must be purchased from other countries.

That has meant that the vaccination program had to be held back until the vaccine demand in developed countries is met before it can be delivered to the people in other countries.

In addition, foreigners initially were not given priority over domestic people when the Vietnamese government approves the vaccination list, so the possibility of receiving a vaccine is still hard for some expats.

Although there are no official government figures available, with all these issues it is likely that the next round of Expat figures will drop.

Only the Expat community can really tell if the numbers are still falling, as they may be saying goodbye to fellow expat workers, or even packing up and heading home themselves.