Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

The Expat City Ranking is based on the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations. For the survey, InterNations asked 12,420 expats representing 174 nationalities and living in 186 countries or territories to provide information on various aspects of expat life, as well as their gender, age, and nationality.

Here are top ten cities for working and living revealed in major survey of over 12,000 expats

1 | Kuala Lumpur Is the World’s Best City for Expats

At the top of the Expat City Ranking 2021, Kuala Lumpur (1st out of 57) excels in the Getting Settled Index (1st): 75% of expats feel at home there (vs. 65% globally), and 78% find it easy to get used to the local culture (vs. 65% globally). Most are also happy with the friendliness of the local population in general (81% vs. 69% globally) and towards foreign residents (77% vs. 67% globally).

A US expat shares: “I love Kuala Lumpur’s culturally diverse environment and the overall friendliness.”

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

@ Lim Huey Teng/Reuters

Kuala Lumpur also ranks 1st out of 57 in the Finance & Housing Index. Expats find housing both affordable (74% vs. 42% globally) and easy to find (91% vs. 60% globally). Another 80% are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally), and 64% say that their household income is more than enough (vs. 52% globally). The city ranks 3rd out of 57 in the Local Cost of Living Index as well, with 78% rating this aspect positively (vs. 48% globally).

However, it gets average results in the Urban Work Life Index (30th). Expats are happy with their working hours (6th) and their work-life balance (7th), but not so much with the local economy (40th) and the career opportunities (44th). Lastly, Kuala Lumpur only ranks 41st in the Quality of Urban Living Index. For factors such as political stability (35% happy vs. 64% globally) and public transportation (57% vs. 69% globally), satisfaction is below the global average.

2 | Málaga: The Best City for Making Friends and Socializing

Málaga comes 2nd out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021 and even 1st in the Local Cost of Living Index: 86% of expats rate this factor positively (vs. 48% globally). It also does very well in the Finance & Housing Index (5th). Expats consider housing both affordable (67% vs. 42% globally) and easy to find (70% vs. 60% globally). Málaga ranks 3rd in the Getting Settled Index and 1st in the Friends & Socializing Subcategory: 69% find it easy to make new friends (vs. 48% globally), and 78% are happy with their social life (vs. 57% globally). Many expats describe the local people as friendly in general (86% vs. 69% globally) and towards foreign residents in particular (82% vs. 67% globally).

(vitag.Init = window.vitag.Init || []).push(function () { viAPItag.display(“vi_682621617”) })

Coming 15th in the Quality of Urban Living Index, Málaga earns another top rank in the Leisure & Climate Subcategory (1st). Not a single expat (0%) is unhappy with the weather (vs. 17% globally), and 86% rate the local leisure options favorably (vs. 72% globally). “Málaga has everything to offer for downtime,” says an Australian expat. However, the city lands in the bottom 10 of the Urban Work Life Index (51st). While ranking 32nd in the Work-Life Balance Subcategory, it performs poorly in the Job & Career (56th) and the Job Security (50th) Subcategories.

READ MORE:  At least 26 members of a religious sect in HCMC tested positive for Covid-19
3 | Dubai: Easy for Settling In but Hard to Afford

Dubai ranks 3rd out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021, receiving its best results in the Getting Settled Index (6th). It is the easiest city in the world to live in without speaking the local language (94% vs. 54% globally). Moreover, 81% describe the local people as generally friendly towards foreign residents (vs. 67% globally). Expats feel at home in Dubai (75% vs. 65% globally) and find it easy to make new friends there (59% vs. 48% globally).

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

Dubai hopes to welcome back travelers by September.
GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

Dubai also performs very well in the Quality of Urban Living Index (11th). Expats are happy with the political stability (90% vs. 64% globally), and 97% feel safe there (vs. 84% globally). However, it falls behind in the Urban Work Life Index (38th). It even ranks among the bottom 10 for job security (51st). Expats are also unhappy with their work-life balance (22% vs. 17% globally), and only 65% are satisfied with their job in general (vs. 68% globally).

Lastly, Dubai gets mixed results in the Finance & Housing Index (21st). It ranks well in the Housing Subcategory (12th): 86% say that housing is easy to find (vs. 60% globally). However, 41% find it unaffordable (vs. 39% globally), and the city does poorly in the Finance Subcategory (49th): 31% say that their disposable household income is not enough (vs. 23% globally).

4 | Sydney: A Sunny Destination with Great Career Opportunities for Expats

Placing 4th out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Sydney performs best in the Quality of Urban Living Index (10th): expats are particularly happy with the leisure options (89% vs. 72% globally), climate and weather (95% vs. 66% globally), quality of medical care (89% vs. 71% globally), and urban environment (92% vs. 71% globally). “I like the clean environment, the beautiful scenery, and the diverse community with its mix of cultures,” says an expat from Pakistan.

Moreover, 81% of expats in Sydney find it easy to get used to the local culture (vs. 65% globally) — just one reason for its excellent ranking in the Getting Settled Index (11th). Another 80% describe the local residents as generally friendly (vs. 69% globally), and 72% feel at home in Sydney (vs. 65% globally). It also ranks 11th in the Urban Work Life Index: 66% are happy with the career opportunities (vs. 45% globally), and 78% rate their work-life balance positively (vs. 66% globally).

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

Bondi Beach Sydney, hundreds turn out like any other summer day as temperatures hit 36°C-flouting rules for crowd limits of 500 @ GETTY IMAGES

However, Sydney only places 37th in the Local Cost of Living Index: 56% rate the cost of living negatively (vs. 34% globally). In the Finance & Housing Index, it comes 29th. While 67% say it is easy to find housing (vs. 60% globally), 68% describe it as unaffordable (vs. 39% globally).

5 | Singapore: High Quality of Life but Poor Work-Life Balance

Coming 5th out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Singapore does best in the Quality of Urban Living Index (3rd), particularly in the Safety & Politics Subcategory (1st): 95% of expats are happy with the political stability (vs. 64% globally), and 99% feel safe (vs. 84% globally). Singapore also performs well in the Transportation Subcategory (4th). However, it receives mixed results regarding healthcare. While most expats are satisfied with its availability (89% vs. 76% globally) and quality (84% vs. 71% globally), 43% find it unaffordable (vs. 21% globally). Singapore also scores high in the Getting Settled Index (12th). Expats find it easy to make new friends (56% vs. 48% globally) and are happy with their social life (60% vs. 57% globally).

READ MORE:  Why Vietnam tightens borders and boosts pandemic preparations in southwest?

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

However, the results in the Urban Work Life Index (37th) are below average. Singapore even ranks in the bottom 10 of the Work-Life Balance Subcategory (52nd). While expats rate the local economy positively (85% vs. 62% globally), the career opportunities are fairly average (47% vs. 45% globally). Lastly, Singapore comes 43rd in the Local Cost of Living Index: 63% rate this factor negatively (vs. 34% globally). Another 66% also find housing unaffordable (vs. 39% globally).

6 | Ho Chi Minh City: The Cost of Living Is Excellent, the Quality of Life Less So

Ranking 6th out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Ho Chi Minh City makes it into the top 10 of four indices. It ranks 2nd out of 57 in both the Local Cost of Living Index — 84% rate this factor positively (vs. 48% globally) — and the Finance & Housing Index: 75% of expats say that their disposable household income is more than enough (vs. 52% globally), and 77% are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally). They also find housing affordable (61% vs. 42% globally).
The city does well in the Urban Work Life Index (10th), too. It is even voted the best worldwide for overall job satisfaction (1st). Ho Chi Minh City also scores high in the Getting Settled Index (10th). Expats find it easy to make new friends (77% vs. 48% globally), are happy with their social life (74% vs. 57% globally) and describe the local people as generally friendly towards foreign residents (93% vs. 67% globally).

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

Photo: Ha Tran Minh Toan

However, the city lands in the bottom 10 of the Quality of Urban Living Index (52nd): 65% are unhappy with public transportation (vs. 20% globally), and 49% rate the urban environment negatively (vs. 16% globally). A Canadian expat explains: “The environmental quality can be challenging, such as pollution, lack of recycling, and noise.”

(vitag.Init = window.vitag.Init || []).push(function () { viAPItag.display(“vi_682621617”) })
7 | Prague: A Great Working Life and a High Quality of Living

Prague not only makes it into the top 10 of the Expat City Ranking (7th) but also into the top 5 for two indices. In the Urban Work Life Index (4th), expats are happy with the career opportunities (60% vs. 45% globally), work-life balance (79% vs. 66% globally), and working hours (82% vs. 66% globally). The city comes 5th in the Quality of Urban Living Index: 83% rate the leisure options favorably (vs. 72% globally), and 91% are happy with the transportation system (vs. 69% globally). “I enjoy the great opportunities for socializing, activities, and traveling,” states an expat from Ukraine.

However, while housing is easy to find for expats (73% vs. 60% globally), 43% find it hard to afford (vs. 39% globally). Still, Prague ranks 14th in the Finance & Housing Index, and 66% are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally). It does even better in the Local Cost of Living Index (11th): 61% rate this factor positively (vs. 48% globally).

The Getting Settled Index (38th) shows some rather mixed results. Expats find the local residents generally unfriendly (32% vs. 16% globally), as well as unfriendly towards foreign residents (35% vs. 18% globally). However, 72% are happy with their social life (vs. 57% globally) and feel at home in Prague (vs. 65% globally).

8 | Mexico City: A Great Climate and a Welcoming Atmosphere

In the Expat City Ranking 2021, Mexico City (8th out of 57) performs best in the Getting Settled Index (2nd), even coming 1st in the Feeling Welcome Subcategory. Expats find it easy to get used to the local culture (93% vs. 65% globally) and feel at home (80% vs. 65% globally). They are happy with their social life (67% vs. 57% globally) and find it easy to make new friends (73% vs. 48% globally). Another 88% describe the locals as friendly towards foreign residents (vs. 67% globally).
Mexico’s capital also performs very well in the Local Cost of Living (5th) and Finance & Housing (4th) Indices: 92% say that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to cover expenses (vs. 77% globally). Housing is both easy to afford (60% vs. 42% globally) and to find (74% vs. 60% globally).

READ MORE:  Vietnam’s Covid-19 tally crosses 10,000 mark with 68 new local cases

However, the city only ranks 42nd in the Urban Work Life Index. While overall job satisfaction is high (6th), it lands in 52nd place for working hours. It even ends up in the bottom 10 of the Quality of Urban Living Index (49th). Expats are dissatisfied with public transportation (30% vs. 20% globally), do not feel safe (37% vs. 8% globally) and rate the urban environment negatively (25% vs. 16% globally). However, they love the climate and weather (88% vs. 66% globally) and the local leisure options (81% vs. 72% globally).

9 | Basel: The Best Working Life for Expats in Switzerland

Making it into the top 10 of the Expat City Ranking 2021, Basel (9th out of 57) performs best in the Quality of Urban Living Index (2nd). This includes a 1st place in the Transportation Subcategory and a 3rd rank in the Safety & Politics Subcategory. All expats in Basel (100%) are satisfied with public transportation (vs. 69% globally). An Australian expat notes: “The public transportation system is excellent.” Nearly all respondents (97%) also feel safe there (vs. 84% globally). The city also performs very well in the Urban Work Life Index (6th), particularly for the state of the local economy (1st). In fact, no expat (0%) rates the former negatively (vs. 19% globally)

(vitag.Init = window.vitag.Init || []).push(function () { viAPItag.display(“vi_682621617”) })

Coming 23rd in the Finance & Housing Index, Basel even places 5th in the Finance Subcategory: 84% find their disposable household income enough or more than enough (vs. 77% globally), and 77% are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally). Nevertheless, the city ranks 48th in the Local Cost of Living Index: 69% are dissatisfied with the cost of living (vs. 34% globally). The Getting Settled Index (39th) is another of Basel’s weak points: 26% of respondents find it difficult to get used to the local culture (vs. 18% globally).

10 | Madrid: A Welcoming City with a High Quality of Life

Coming 10th out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Madrid does best in the Quality of Urban Living Index (7th). It lands among the top 5 in the Leisure & Climate (4th) and the Health & Environment (5th) Subcategories: expats are happy with the climate (92% vs. 66% globally) and the leisure options (87% vs. 72% globally). “I like the good access to entertainment, cultural activities, and various food options,” says a UK expat. They also rate the affordability (86% vs. 61% globally), availability (90% vs. 76% globally), and quality (89% vs. 71% globally) of healthcare positively.

, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021, Here’s what to know about the best cities for expats 2021

Soccer fans wear masks to protect themselves from coronavirus (Covid-19) during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Madrid ranks nearly as well in the Getting Settled Index (8th): 85% of expats find it easy to get used to the local culture (vs. 65% globally). Another 81% feel at home there (vs. 65% globally), and 73% are happy with their social life (vs. 57% globally). Expats describe the local people as generally friendly (85% vs. 69% globally) and friendly towards foreign residents (79% vs. 67% globally).

While Madrid does well in the Local Cost of Living (14th) and Finance & Housing (25th) Indices, it comes 44th in the Urban Work Life Index. Expats are unhappy with the working hours (25% vs. 16% globally), local economy (24% vs. 19% globally), and career options (38% vs. 33% globally).

News related