Friday, December 12, 2008

World's Friendliest Countries

1. Canada
2. Germany
3. Australia
4. UK
5. India
6. USA
7. Hong Kong
7. Spain
8. France
9. Netherlands
10. China

The study surveyed 2,155 expats in 48 countries, spanning four continents, between February and April 2008. Respondents rated their country in four categories: ability to befriend locals, number that joined a community group, number that learned the language and percentage that bought property. Source: Forbes.

36 comments:

George Musser said...

It's odd that not a single African country appears on a list of the world's friendliest countries, and that Hong Kong and Holland do. Forbes's criteria might well be measuring openness or quality of life, but they are completely at odds with my own experience of people's friendliness.

Bee said...

Well, the description says its only four continents they have surveyed.

The rating agrees okay with my impression. I would have expected the USA to rank higher than the UK though. I was surprised to see Germany rank so high since I've been told Germans easily come off as unfriendly. It might have been relevant they didn't ask tourists.

Gordon Pasha said...

Hi

This is completely bogus. First of all, in some places they interviewed about 30 people only. Second, they talk about "[Canada] also has other expats. This is important, Linderman says, since even the most gracious locals already have busy, established lives and can be unwilling to put in the effort to befriend someone they know could leave within several years."

So how does that rate "the country" if one only interacts with other expats...

And from whose point of view is the study? People from the US are the largest group of expats in number. It is unsurprising that Canada and other developed countries would be ranked high by such a group...

To be fair, the Forbes article points out most of these issues. But I think it is stupid to create a meaningless ranking and then write an article sort of explaining why it is meaningless..

Regards
Gordon

Bee said...

Of course it's bogus. Instead of taking it seriously what Forbes things constitutes Friendliness, consider it a ramdom selection, and be happy Canada and Germany is among the winners.

Chris Granade said...

Ridiculous, yes, but fun nonetheless. I find amusement in a whole cateogry of ridiculously bogus "studies."

Klaus said...

Germany on 2nd place... congrats!

I was an expat there for 5 yrs and can only agree to the survey finding. Great times, fine memories.

- but! did the respondents speak german to the germans?? I think they did, and that is part of the answer why the germans are percieved friendly.

a foreiner speaking the host countries langauge is welcomed all over the world! a clear winning point.

- and here it comes,,, it spares the locals the embarresment to admit or prove that they actually SUCK at foreign languages.

This applies not only to Germany, but I guess to all big and bigget nations.

best

Klaus

Phil Warnell said...

I think it very unfair for Forbes to rank Canadian’s as being the friendliest, as it puts even greater pressure on us as to limit our rudeness and lack of mutual understanding. This only furthers in having our right to act in an uncivilized manner diminished :-)

Twitch said...

meh...If it said the the USA or Italy was first...you all will still be complaining for the test of time...I find this quite fun to read. Just enjoy it.

Jose said...

What? USA in 6th? I had to to pass through a one hour interview in the American embassy in my country just to get a transit visa! Ad when I went to visit a friend for one week it was the same thing! And I am not even talking about the price of the visa to go there and leave my money in their touristic attractions. That's crazy... Every place I went in Europe was way more friendly...

Anonymous said...

This must be a joke!

2. Germany = notoriously hostile to foreigners

3. Australia = xenophobic, arrogant and unsufferable. Ask anyone in SE Asia.

6. USA = ?! :-))

7. Spain = another unfriendly country unless you are an englishman looking for expensive real estate

8. France = oh phlease!!! :-)))

9. Netherlands = really? tell that to muslim immigrants...

10. China = you must be crazy, it is one of the most xenophobic people I've ever met. Of course if one does not speak the language one cannot understand the insults people shout at oneself in the street.

Bee said...

Hi Anonymous:

Of course I am biased, but I have no clue why you think Germany is hostile to foreigners. In case you are referring to their immigrant policies, please keep in mind that Germany has a very high population density (about one order of magnitude higher than that of Canada/USA). Best,

B.

Anonymous said...

Canadians are really friendly, as are most in the US (but not US tourists).

Meanwhile Aussie tourists are really friendly but the natives are insufferable.

France in the top 10 (lol)

Netherlands should be much higher, they are generally really friendly.

Benny said...

Canada Lol once i stole the bike to a guy and he tried 2 kill me o.O

Anonymous said...

this is bs... china being ranked 10th, i live in hong kong for many years and china people which come over to hong kong are alway fags and also they have no manners.

Tommy said...

It also depends on what ethnicity one is when living in these so-called 'friendly' countries. Canada is great since it's very multi-cultural, but how about Germany/China? Even speaking the language is not enough.

Anonymous said...

this can't be accurate, in my 2 yrs of living in the UK I have been left speechless at the profound xenophobia of this country and its natives. As if that's not enough and you try avoiding the natives, the media blurts out a 'get off my island' message almost perenially! I found Iceland; Denmark; Ireland and South Africa far friendlier and they're not on the list.

Anonymous said...

I have to say one of the world's friendliest countries is the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently living in China (Shanghai, to be exact), and I find the local people here rude, arrogant, and to be honest, obnoxious and stupid. The traffic rules (or lack thereof) here are a joke - whoever has the bigger vehicle apparently rules the road; pedestrians WATCH OUT!

And the general attitude and atmosphere here is enough to make you an angry person. They spit all everywhere in the sidewalks (literally EVERYWHERE - I come across 2-3 spitters every day in my 10 minute walk to work, and I'm not even counting all the pretty phlegm that's been sitting on the sidewalks for a while), they push and shove, they cough and sneeze in your face, and the Chinglish they NEVER proofread has things like "fruit paste" instead of jam. And this is all in Shanghai, the commercial heart of China - you'd think they'd be a little more well-mannered and educated than this.

So.... no, I don't think China should rank Top 10 of the world's friendliest countries. Not knowing their language makes it incredibly difficult to live here, and even knowing their language only makes it a little better. Like someone has said previously, it's still not enough. People from the West really have to force themselves to think backwards here to accept how things are.

I also lived in Hong Kong for many years, and the atmosphere for foreigners there is infinitely superior. Even though it is once again a part of China, a big reason Hong Kong is very welcoming to foreigners is because it was under British rule for a century. Western influence has definitely left its mark.

If you ever want to live in China (which I wouldn't recommend to anyone - Holiday for a few days? Sure. Live here? Never.), I recommend staying in Hong Kong more than anywhere. It's definitely a different enough place that you know you're not in a Western country anymore, but it also makes it a lot easier to adapt to with its foreigner-open atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

The Philippines, Thailand or Italy not included on the list?!!!

That is not so fair!!!

Pae Yu Thorne said...

This survey for me is somehow ridiculous.

I think the main category in which Forbes have considered is that the Economic condition of each country. Coz, if they have to stick to the essence of the title, I think most Southeast Asian Nation would be there, like Malaysia, Thailand Vietnam and Philippines.

On the otherhand, for the top two I agree 100% of it. Germans are perceived to be short tempered, but in terms of Friendliness, they are great at it and I could easily rank them on the top, I have been working with German for two years and I havr great experience with them; next is Canada due to diversity

Countries which should not be there... India and China...

Anonymous said...

The World's Friendliest Countries according to Forbes are actually 14 and that includes Singapore, UAE and Belgium. Obviously, Forbes didn’t made a very good job on this and I don’t know what definition of "Friendliness" they're talking about here. Sadly, all the information Forbes have is completely untrue and clearly a Bogus.

Canada - In Canada's western-most province of British Columbia, there has been a history of xenophobia towards people of Asian descent living there. People of Asian descent were considered savage and uncivilized people and racial violence occurred against members of the Chinese, Japanese, and Sikh. I've never been to Canada but my friend told me that they're really not that friendly.

Germany - You gotta be kidding me! This Nazi country is no. 2?!?! Nothing but an extreme hostile country. During the of Hitler, Over six million Jews, most of whom were from countries outside of Germany, were deliberately murdered in a pre-meditated attempt to destroy the Jewish race. So, Goodluck to our fellow Muslim and Jewish friends out there planning to take a superb vacation.

Australia - I say Australia has the most number of xenophobic. Aussie's are really friendly as tourists but really opposite when you're already there socializing with the locals.. like what i have experienced. Xenophobia has been documented in Australia since British colonisation. They even had a policy known as the White Australia policy way back. As the name stated, it was intended at restricting all non-white (Especially Asiatic) populations from existing inside Australia. So, traditionally, some natives still practice racial discrimination to some other. Clearly unfriendly to me, watchatink Forbes?

India - I've never been to India but everytime i'm calling my Credit Card and Phone company the calls are always routed to India. I have'nt got any excellent Customer Service from them and they are not really patience and friendly over the phone.

Hongkong - I stayed in Hongkong, Great place to live in except the communication part. I have to make a sign language all the time.

Netherlands - Havent been there. In Europe there is growing trend on anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Singapore - Singapore is a sure winner when it comes to rudeness, racist, discrimination and unfriendliness. I remember shopping in Orchard Road and all the store lacks of proper customer service attitude and skills. They dont even greet, smile or say "thank you". Their face is so serious and lame that suicidal behavior is a very common thing for them. They will push you in a crowded MRT station without saying "sorry" or "excuse me". So far, they are the worst for me.

I am voting Thailand, Philippines, USA, UK, New Zealand, Greece and France as The World's Friendliest Countries. And as for Forbes, try to do your homework again and it better be effective this time.

Anonymous said...

the uk should be brought down to number 10.there are the xenophobic and most of the natives have still got the racist mentality in this generation.God help us

Anonymous said...

Canada being on the list is believable. But France and Australia being there is quite questionable. I certainly can think of friendlier countries. But I am an expat and I come from an expat family so I understand what this survey is about. I guess the friendliness being described here refers to how locals respond to the diplomatic and foreign business communities. Of course, locals would respond well to who they deem as moneyed and educated, those with influence and power.

I once lived in Seoul and I thought everybody was friendly but I asked other people from my country and they told me otherwise.

I mean, the survey is published by Forbes, a business magazine, in the first place so the results make complete sense. I doubt they surveyed immigrants and temporary migrant workers.

Anonymous said...

I have been to France and the people are quite discriminating to those who haven't learned French. Hong Kong folks are only friendly to those who have money in their pockets, they have no patience and are quite rude when there is no sale involved, so is China!

Who made this list? Obviously this write up is one sided. You want to understand the level of friendliness of each nation, take a walk in the streets and try mingling with the locals, how they react to your presence and accept you is how you should evaluate them. One can only assume that the person who drafted this must have never been to the slums or trudged deep into the bowels of the real heartland!

My choices for friendliest nations are on Canada, Thailand, and mostly Southeast Countries! But i have to say by far the Philippines is unrivaled here. Everyone is just hospitable no matter who you are, they offer you their personal items free of charge as a sign of goodwill, they ensure you are well taken of and everyone seems to be addicted to laughter. The American dream is to save enough and retire to a life of beautiful simplicity in the Philippines.

Anonymous said...

HAHA USA is in here I've live in the US all my life and hasn't anyone noticed the racism here?

Soumodeep said...

I don't think the list is proper. Canada can never be the friendliest. They have a lot of racist people and white people specially can get very rude, specially in western canada. They are not diverse at all and specifies one has to learn English!

While India is one of the most diverse countries. Speak any language and you will be just fine. There's no pressure to learn a certain language. Very friendly and this is because India is the msot diverse of all countries. Canada should be around at 7th or 8th while India should be a bit higher up then France, probably at 3rd

Anonymous said...

This is a misprint. They listed the world's unfriendliest countries and missed the syllable "un".

Here are the world's friendliest countries/regions:
1) Philippines ( top of the list) the best! Wins hands down as the friendlest. Best people on earth!Burma, Laos and Indonesia come close second
2) Spanish speaking Carribean countries ( the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia etc)
3) Central American countries - Panama Honduras.
4) Black African countries- especially French ones.
5) Malaysia
6) Thailand
7) Mexico
8) Bulgaria/Romania other Balcan places.
9) Oman
10) French Canada.

Anonymous said...

i think the philippines should be the 1st on the list... pilipinos are very hospitable and nice...

Anonymous said...

Ireland.?? lol.

Anonymous said...

Ireland.?

Anonymous said...

At 11:47 PM, February 21, 2009, Anonymous said...
I'm currently living in China (Shanghai, to be exact), and I find the local people here rude, arrogant, and to be honest, obnoxious and stupid.

And the general attitude and atmosphere here is enough to make you an angry person. They spit all everywhere in the sidewalks they push and shove, they cough and sneeze in your face, and the Chinglish they NEVER proofread has things like "fruit paste" instead of jam. And this is all in Shanghai, the commercial heart of China - you'd think they'd be a little more well-mannered and educated than this.

So.... no, I don't think China should rank Top 10 of the world's friendliest countries. Not knowing their language makes it incredibly difficult to live here, and even knowing their language only makes it a little better. Like someone has said previously, it's still not enough. People from the West really have to force themselves to think backwards here to accept how things are.

I also lived in Hong Kong for many years, and the atmosphere for foreigners there is infinitely superior. ..it was under British rule for a century. Western influence has definitely left its mark.

If you ever want to live in China I recommend staying in Hong Kong more than anywhere. It's definitely a different enough place that you know you're not in a Western country anymore, but it also makes it a lot easier to adapt to with its foreigner-open atmosphere.

********************************
I would have to agree and disagree with this comment.

Yes, the Shanghainese are arrogant (I'm half Shanghainese so please allow me to generalize) but it's because they're filthy rich. They were the first city to really open up to western influences in Chinese history. So your comment about "Western influence leaving a mark"....just look at the harbour in Shanghai. I currently live in Hong Kong and yeah, they're friendly to foreigners cuz they want your money and they would much rather leave you alone than cause problems because, well, their English ability limits them and they really don't want to waste their time with you. Your comparison shouldn't be about the mainland VS HK culture per se, rather the SERVICE cultures between the two. Thank you.

Spitting, pushing, shoving, sneezing in the face....the commercial heart of China....your description here is very similar to how people describe New York. The only things missing: cabbies who swear at you, gun toting citizens pushing crank on street corners, racial hate crimes, etc. For China to put CHINGLISH which is not edited, ok, you've got us there. They really should have it checked. But hey, at least they're trying. Compared with the states again, do they make attempts to communicate in a language other than English? Seeing that China has an enourmous amount of money in the US (and the rest of the world), would it be fair to ask the Americans to have signs in Chinese?

Westerners have to force themselves to think backwards to accept how things are. This one is great. If you are from N. America, I'm sure your immigrant ancestors thought the EXACT same thing when they stepped off the boat.

Hong Kong would definitely be a better place to live (especially for an ex-pat; I'm living here currently!) because of its small and crammed housing, its crowded streets and stinky tofu, its problem with ketamine and heroin, etc. But wait, you're right. Just go to Stanley, or Lan Kwai Fong, or somewhere else where you'll find a large proportion of wanker expats who find it easy to score SE Asian whores (because of their English ability) and generally nice Hong Kong locals who enjoy having a good chuckle over some foreigner's misfortune.

Thanks for your article, thanks for reading mine, and God bless us all.

**for the record, I'm Canadian, we won this ranking, but i'm sure if somebody else did a survey, we would probably not be in 1st place. So let's all just have fun and get along :)**

Waruna said...

What a fuck germany 2nd place.
I cant belive.
180 ..This is ... place which they deserve

Waruna said...

Also, in Canada and USA people of colour make less ....
I think europeans hate the Africans, Asians
I was 8 years in Germany.

Ich hasse Deutschland.
Ich weiß wie Sie mich damals behandelt haben. Heute bin ich in USA und sehr Glücklich.

Anonymous said...

i have to say that scottish people have to be the most frienliest people i have encountered on my long journeys around the world they not only are the friendliest but they are soo funny and generous i dropped my wallet in the street in glasgow and a young lad picked it up and handed it to me and did not steel a thing but when i was in paris a young lad stole my bag off me and it was on my back lol soo scotland should be an individual country not the uk england is arrogant

Anonymous said...

yes i agree i am from wales and i agree that scotland and wales obviously are two countries that are the most happy and friendly.
the welsh will give you a song and the scottish will tell you a joke we have tom jones you have billy connely lol

random asian guy said...

SINGAPORE MOST UNFRIENDLY! NO DOUBT!