Portugal finished with an average score of 87.43 on the index which took into account housing, cost of living, visas/benefits, affinity rating, development/governance, climate, and healthcare, finishing above Mexico in second place and Panama in third. Spain was ranked in sixth position followed by Greece, France, and Italy.

Some of the areas that saw Portugal score most highly were healthcare (92), development/governance (94) and visas/benefits (90), the area where Portugal scored lowest was in housing (74).

Terry Coles, writing for International Living says: “Despite its compact size, the country offers something for everyone” and outlines the varied landscapes and options from country to coast, rural to city and traditional to contemporary.

The people of Portugal and high English literacy was also key in the rankings: “The people of Portugal are some of the kindest and most genuine in the world, and they welcome foreigners with open arms and double-cheeked kisses. Since English is taught in the schools many of the locals, especially the younger generation, have a good grasp of the language”.

The safety of Portugal, which is ranked 6th in the Global Peace Index is highlighted in the report which also details the high-quality healthcare, both public and private, fresh drinkable water, reliable electricity and high-speed internet, easy to-navigate roads, and large expat community of over 500,000.

After going into a little more detail about the various different areas that many expats chose to relocate to, the report concludes with a round-up of how affordable Portugal is – especially for US expats.

“How much do you need to retire to Portugal? As a general rule, a couple can live comfortably on about $2,500 to $3,000 per month, depending on lifestyle and whether you own or rent. To settle in Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve expect to pay a bit more while inland areas cost less.”

The 2023 Annual Global Retirement Index compiles information from a network of editors, correspondents, and contributors from across the globe to put together the ranking.