Every so often a survey comes along reporting on the best places to live. Some of them may seem a bit arbitrary, but some review the opinions of expats themselves.

The InterNations Survey draws up a top ten list of best and worst places to live as reported by expats, and some of the results are surprising. If you are considering a move abroad, or are thinking about finding a new place to live, the survey makes for interesting reading.

In first place is Taiwan, the first time that the country has been included in the listings. Expats are full of praise for the quality of life on the island, as well as the advantages that they have in terms of personal finance.

Taiwan still boasts a relatively low cost of living, but expats are generally well-remunerated. This means that their money goes a lot further, and makes living on the island a lot of fun. The survey shows that 93% of respondents were generally happy with life in Taiwan, and 64% of them want to call the island home for more than three years.

Language problems and cultural differences are reportedly among the most negative aspects, but a strong expat community means that most are happy with their lot.

These factors are less of a concern in Malta, which comes in second place overall. Settling in is reportedly easy, with friendly locals and fewer language difficulties given that English is one of two official languages on the island.

The Mediterranean nation also receives high ratings for its climate. While some expats report that they earn less than at home, 25% of them say that they are happy with their financial situation. As the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding, as almost 50% of survey respondents say that they want to live in Malta forever.

Over in South America, Ecuador comes in third place in the 2016 survey. The small nation topped the list for the past two years, but a struggling economy means that it has dropped a couple of places.

Around 41% of respondents are retirees, and are most likely living on savings rather than making money in Ecuador. With good weather and decent healthcare, it’s a great spot for older generations. However one point to consider is personal security, with only 22% of respondents feeling very safe.

These rankings often differ between the sexes, however Taiwan comes in first for both men and women. Interestingly men have the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in second place, but women respondents rank the nation at 49 out of 57 countries.

Further similarities can be seen in countries such as Mexico, which both sexes rank in fourth place. New Zealand also makes the top six for both men and women, and Austria is included in the top ten in both cases.

Men reportedly enjoy life in Colombia, which male respondents rank in seventh position. However women say that the country is 35th out of 57. Latin America is also represented by Costa Rica and Ecuador, which are both in the top 10 for both sexes.

While there are many factors to consider when moving abroad, the opinions of fellow expats can be taken as a rough guide. After all, if you are thinking of moving somewhere new it’s always nice to find out what life is like there from someone else.

You may be surprised by some of the countries included on this list, which could make you consider new countries to live in. However it’s important to remember that your personal circumstances are unique.

Research is key and this survey will not make the final decision for you. However if you are looking for inspiration you could do worse than to take a look at the full results at the InterNations website.

Rankings are drawn from a multitude of factors including climate, security, finances and cost of living. You can select which factors are most important to you and see a set of personalized rankings which could help you make a more informed decision.

If you are thinking of moving abroad it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are plenty of resources out there for potential expats, and tapping into them can assist you in making a decision on where to base yourself.