This African country is No. 1 for friendliest destination: See who made the top 10

World's friendliest countries were determined by a new report from digital financial services company Remitly.

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  • The world’s friendliest countries were determined by a new report from digital financial services company Remitly.
  • The company surveyed 3,000 participants from 27 countries on the “agreeableness” trait from the popular Big 5 Personality Test.
  • The scores of each country’s residents were averaged, with the higher averages deeming the country friendlier.

Traveling to a new country can be nerve-racking, from having a basic grasp of the language to navigating the public transit system.

One thing that can ease the stress of being in a new place is encountering friendly locals, who can make you feel welcome and help if you’re lost.

Digital financial services company Remitly recently determined the world’s friendliest nations in a new report. The company surveyed 3,000 participants from 27 countries on their “agreeableness” from the popular Big 5 Personality Test in April. Participants took a simplified version of the test’s “agreeableness” section and were given a score between 1 and 40, with a higher score meaning they were more agreeable. The scores of each country’s residents were averaged, and the higher the average, the friendlier the country. 

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If someone’s personality is concluded as agreeable, they’re friendly, compassionate and empathetic. This is the type of person who prioritizes interpersonal relationships, is warm to others and wants to strike up conversations − all good traits if travelers want to feel comfortable in a new destination.

“A big part of being in a new place is the experience you have with locals, whether it’s getting insider tips on the best places to eat, or making long-lasting connections and forging friendships that will last a lifetime,” said Ollie Cassel, head of growth marketing at Remitly, in an email to USA TODAY. “The friendliness of the people you interact with can sometimes make or break your experience.”

Read below to find out the top 10 friendliest countries, according to Remitly.

10. Belgium, 32.5

The annual UNTWO Tourism report tracks international tourist arrivals. Note that the organization does not have data on record for certain countries (including Belarus and Slovakia). At No. 25 on the list is Belgium, with 7,479,000 international tourist arrivals in 2016.

Belgium is ranked as one of the friendliest countries to travelers. The European nation not only has progressive social policies and low crime rates, but English is easily spoken, which makes it easy to meet locals. 

9. Estonia, 32.58

Estonia is a great destination for history buffs and nature lovers.

Home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and more than 1,000 islands, Estonia has friendly locals who are known to be respectful and polite to foreigners. A 2019 survey of almost 14,000 Estonians found that most residents prioritize safety and openness. 

8. Germany, 32.66

Nuns sit on a bench in a park in the center of Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on April 17, 2024.

There’s a lot of history and culture to uncover in Germany, and its friendly residents help make it a popular European destination. Germans aren’t known for engaging in small talk but will help you out if you’re in need. 

7. Canada, 32.84

Canada has ample green spaces, making it ideal for travelers.

Known for their kindness – and love for the word “sorry – Canadians scored high for agreeableness in the Remitly report, which makes it a welcoming destination for travelers. 

6. Australia, 33.13

Diving and snorkeling, surfing, whale watching, paddling and swimming freshwater lakes are just a handful of the water-based activities Australia offers.

With friendly, laid-back locals, Australia earned a spot as one of the friendliest countries for travelers, so you can feel good about visiting the Land Down Under. 

5. Sweden, 33.30

Sweden is known as one of the happiest countries in the world.

Known to have friendly and courteous locals, Sweden earned the spot as the fifth-friendliest nation. It makes sense: The country is often ranked as one of the happiest places in the world

4. Mexico, 33.47

A couple strolls on the beach in the hotel zone in Cancun, Mexico

Known for having strong family ties and being proud of their heritage, Mexicans are generally friendly and kind to travelers, earning the Central American country the fourth spot in the report. 

3. Croatia, 33.50

Traveller looking at view of Dubrovnik Old Town, in Dalmatia, Croatia, the prominent travel destination of Croatia. Dubrovnik old town was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979.

Scoring the spot for the third-friendliest country, Croatia is highly welcoming for travelers. Croatians are known to be polite and social, so you can feel comfortable asking locals for directions. 

2. Greece, 33.71

Greece is a friendly destination for travelers.

The Greeks live by a value known as philoxenia, which translates to “friend of the foreign” and stems from ancient Greek mythology. Essentially, this means the country is especially welcoming and warm to travelers. 

1. South Africa, 34.63

South Africans are known to be friendly to foreigners.

South Africans are known to be friendly, so travelers can expect to encounter many locals saying hello and striking up conversations. Eleven official languages are spoken in the African country, like English and Afrikaans, so you can feel comfortable engaging with residents. 

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