Ireland has been ranked as the most expensive country in the EU for ex-pats in a comprehensive global survey of over 14,000 ex-pats.

Of the 64 countries analyzed in the poll, Ireland was named as the sixth dearest for foreign nationals, one place behind non-EU nation Switzerland.

Soaring rental and healthcare costs were pinpointed as the two main bugbears for struggling ex-pats based in Ireland.

Ecuador, Poland and the Czech Republic were ranked as the cheapest destinations for ex-pats, while the three destinations with the highest costs of living were -- perhaps surprisingly -- found to be Mozambique, Nigeria and Brazil.

The study was carried out by Munich-based InterNations, a vast global network and information site, representing more than two million people who work and live abroad.

Commenting on the findings, spokeswoman Vera Grossman said, "It's important to note that our cost of living index is based on respondents' subjective rating of the cost of living in their host countries, rather than on an actual comparison of local costs for a selection of certain goods.

"As such, the results do not necessarily reflect the average costs across the country, but are instead heavily influenced by the

respondents' perceptions, as well as their lifestyle.

"Keeping all of this in mind, we can take a closer look at participants' answers. In Mozambique, 23 percent of respondents went so far as to rate the local cost of living as very bad, while in Ireland only six percent said the same. Altogether, close to three-quarters of ex-pats in Mozambique rated this factor negatively, while 63 percent did so in Ireland.

"So while neither Ireland nor Mozambique are doing particularly well in this regard, expenses in the latter are subjectively worse. This is also the case when looking at rankings for affordable housing [Ireland 54th vs. Mozambique 63rd] and healthcare [Ireland 62nd vs. Mozambique 64th]."

Another recent survey by InterNations ranked Ireland as the fourth friendliest country in the world behind Myanmar, Mexico and Portugal.

The company's CEO, Mark Zeeck, said, "Ex-pats perceive the Irish as being one of the most welcoming people in the world, always happy to show you around and share their stories.

"For all the Irish beauty, rich history and culture, it is the friendly and engaging locals who make life in Ireland such a memorable experience."