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This Is the Friendliest Country in the World, According to a New Study

This Is the Friendliest Country in the World, According to a New Study

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If you’re hoping to find a friendly smile and a welcoming “hello” on your travels, Remitly, a digital financial service company, has a new report. The company released the results of its new study, which named South Africa the friendliest country in the world.

To uncover which places are just a bit happier to see you than others, Remitly used the program Prolific to test 3,000 participants from 27 countries on the “agreeableness” trait from the Big 5 Personality Test. The test asked each participant questions, which gave them a score between one and 30 on how “agreeable” they really are. The higher participants scored, the more friendly they are perceived, or as Remitly explained, “those who have high traits of agreeableness generally display more prosocial behaviors and are also generally highly empathetic, showing great consideration for the welfare of others.” 

Remitly then calculated the average score of all the participants from each country to find each nation’s “friendliness” score. After looking at all the information, South Africa came out as the winner, with a normalized score of 34.63 out of 40. 

“Known for being warm and welcoming, South Africans are generally happy to engage in conversation, socializing, and plenty of jokes, helping visitors and new arrivals feel at ease,” the findings noted. “Their affable nature, coupled with the country’s varied landscapes and affordable cost of living, makes it a popular place to move or travel to.” 

Coming in a close second is Greece, which scored 33.71 out of 40, making it the friendliest country in Europe, followed by Croatia in third with a score of 33.5.

Mexico took the fourth spot, and the title of friendliest nation in North America, and Sweden rounded out the top five. The United Kingdom was a lowly 18th, and the U.S. 15th as the global superpowers fared less well in the friendliness stakes than many of their European and North American neighbors.    

“Friendliness is such a crucial trait in life, even more so if you’re moving or traveling to a new country where you might feel nervous or lonely,” Ollie Cassel, head of growth marketing at Remitly, noted in a statement provided to Travel + Leisure. “The warmth and conviviality of strangers can make all the difference in helping people feel more welcome and settled, enhancing an experience beyond recognition.” 

However, as Cassel added, though some nations may seem friendlier than others, it’s critical that no matter where you travel “immersing yourself in local communities, cultures, and customs will help you to create your new home away from home.”

See the full listings and where your favorite country ranks at remitly.com.

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