• Costa Rica has been voted the best country for making friends. (GettyImages)
A survey of expats has revealed the countries where it's easy to find amigos, and those where you're more likely to get a frosty reception.
By
Alyssa Braithwaite

12 Sep 2017 - 2:32 PM  UPDATED 12 Sep 2017 - 2:32 PM

Not only does it boast stunning natural attractions, including majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, and unspoilt beaches, Costa Rica has just been voted the best country for making friends.

In their 2017 Expat Insider survey, InterNations asked 12,500 expats about their life abroad, ranking the best and worst places based on everything from quality of life, to ease of settling in, family life and personal finance.

The Central American country performs well in a number of categories, and is the clear winner when it comes to befriending the locals.

"If you’re looking to make friends, Costa Rica is the place to go," InterNations says.

"It ranks first in the Finding Friends subcategory, taking the top spot for every question.

"Expats say it’s easy to make local friends, with almost one in five (19%) saying their social circle is mostly Costa Ricans and 63% saying it’s a mix of locals and expatriates."

Mexico came in at second place, followed by Argentina, Uganda and Malta.

At the other end of the list, Sweden was voted the hardest place to form friendships.

Switzerland plus three Nordic countries rounded out the bottom positions on the list of 65 countries - Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

"More than half of expats across the Nordic countries find it difficult to make local friends, and over two-fifths in each country describe the local population as distant," the survey found.

"One Brit in Sweden states: 'As in most Nordic countries, people are quite private, closed and ... not that open to conversations with new people.'"

And when it comes to embracing new people and welcoming them into our friendship circles, Australians don't score as well as you might hope.

Australia places 41st on the list, below New Zealand (18th), South Africa (21st), the US (34th), and Canada (37th), but above the UK (49th), France (52nd) and Japan (55th).

You can find the full list here

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