Ireland was named as one of the world's friendliest countries in a new study.

Whether you're moving to a new country or just visiting a destination for the first time, the friendliness of the people you meet can make an enormous difference to your experience and your ability to enjoy your time there.

With this in mind, Remitly, a trusted provider of digital financial services that transcend borders. recently conducted a global study to find the top 25 friendliest and most welcoming nations in the world.

Researchers tested 3,000 participants from 27 countries around the world on the ‘agreeableness’ trait of the Big 5 Personality Test, a globally recognized and standardized personality test. 

Agreeableness is a personality trait which can be described as friendly, kind and cooperative. Those who have high traits of agreeableness generally display more prosocial behaviours and are also generally highly empathetic, showing great consideration for the welfare of others. 

To see which countries showed these traits most, respondents from countries around the world were asked a number of questions to ascertain things such as: how much concern they feel for others, whether they take the time out for other people and whether they like to make people feel at ease. The higher the residents of each nation scored in the test, the more ‘agreeable’ they are. These scores were then used to calculate an average friendliness score for each nation. 

According to the research, Ireland ranked in the 23rd spot on the list with a 'friendliness' score of 31.54.

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

The study revealed that the friendliest nation in the world is South Africa, which had an impressive score of 34.63 out of 40 using the Big 5 Personality Test’s agreeableness trait. 

Greece came in second on the list as the friendliest European county with a 'friendliness score of 33.71. Croatia followed close behind in third, scoring 33.5 out of 40.

Mexico, in fourth place, ranked as the friendliest North American nation, while Sweden rounded out the top five.

“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. The warmth and conviviality of strangers can make all the difference in helping people feel more welcome and settled, enhancing an experience beyond recognition," said Ollie Cassel, Head of Growth Marketing at Remitly.

“With migration on the rise and tourism recovering to pre-pandemic levels we wanted to put the friendliness of the world to the test. South Africa is a fabulous country with so much to see and do and the affability of its residents shone through in our study. It was also interesting to see plenty of nations that have thriving tourist industries such as Greece and Croatia feature so highly in the rankings. 

“While some nations might seem friendlier than others, it’s important to remember that when it comes to making friends, no matter where you’ve moved to, immersing yourself in local communities, cultures, and customs will help you to create your new home away from home. Wherever you’re setting up a new life, it may take some time but you’ll be sure to find like-minded people who will make your experience of living abroad even more special.” 

The top 25 friendliest nations:

  1. South Africa
  2. Greece
  3. Croatia
  4. Mexico
  5. Sweden
  6. Australia
  7. Canada
  8. Germany
  9. Estonia
  10. Belgium
  11. Spain
  12. Czech Republic
  13. Italy
  14. Japan
  15. United States
  16. Netherlands
  17. Portugal
  18. United Kingdom
  19. Poland
  20. Switzerland
  21. Austria
  22. France
  23. Ireland
  24. Hungary
  25. Finland

To view the full data from the study, click here

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