Uruguay Continues to Attract Expats in Their Droves

More and more expatriates are selecting Uruguay as their destination of choice as the government focuses on establishing an expatriate community.

According to recent research, the high standard of living, European-style environment, affordable property market, lower cost of living and affordable healthcare costs are attracting new record numbers of expatriates to Uruguay. This is all thanks, perhaps to the Uruguay government, who have openly stated that they are keen to attract expatriates to the region and lure the Uruguayans who emigrated to Spain amid economic concerns to finally return home.

Indeed, Uruguay’s economy is certainly on the rise and ratings Agency Fitch recently revised its rating of the country as a result of the amount of foreign direct investment that the country is receiving. The expanding and increasingly diversified economy has led to increases in job opportunities.

Many of the expatriates who are sampling life in Uruguay are drawn to the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Montevideo, with the neighborhoods of Pocitos and Punta being particularly popular with foreigners. Those looking for a quieter existence often choose the Costa del Oro (“Golden Coast”) and elect to live in small seaside villages there. Many of these towns, like La Floresta, are close to the main beachside route and boast the types of amenities that those living or retiring abroad require.

Talking to U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, one British expatriate described his life in Uruguay: “There’s a real sense of optimism here. People are working, they’re getting ahead, and the international community is attracting that type of person, too. They see opportunity,” he said.

Suzan Haskins of InternationalLiving.com described how Uruguay has a “definite European influence” with “excellent” healthcare and well-maintained roads. Many of the expatriates who call the country their own would not consider living anywhere else, despite the fact that the country is not “rock-bottom cheap,” she concluded.

Property prices in Uruguay are comparable with many European cities. According to online cost of living application Numbeo, the cost of renting an apartment in the capital city of Montevideo ranges from $583.91 per month for a one-bedroom apartment through to $1081 for a four-bedroom apartment.

One of the biggest draws for expats is that everyone is entitle to national health care coverage, even foreign residents. However, despite this, many expats do opt to take out their own private health insurance.

For further information about living in Uruguay, see our guide to the Five Best Places to Retire in South America.