The top 10 cities for expats in 2021: survey

Kuala Lumpur is the number one global destination for expats to live and work in 2021, according to a survey of more than 12,000 respondents from InterNations, an online expat group with more than 4 million global members. The Malaysian capital city leads the list of 57 cities around the world. Málaga and Dubai, come in as the second and third, respectively. Some 12,420 expats were polled as part of the survey, published in the organisation’s Expat City Ranking 2021, part of its annual Expat Insider survey. The top 10 ranked cities out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021 were:

  1. Kuala Lumpur
  2. Málaga
  3. Dubai
  4. Sydney
  5. Singapore
  6. Ho Chi Minh City
  7. Prague
  8. Mexico City
  9. Basel
  10. Madrid

The research covers five areas of expat life, namely: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, Finance & Housing, and Local Cost of Living. Taken together, the first four areas make up the Expat City Ranking, which reveals the best and worst cities for expats to live in. Dubai and Muscat rank among the top 10 worldwide for the ease of getting settled, while expats in Dubai and Abu Dhabi focus on the high quality lifestyle. But, Muscat, Riyadh, and Doha outperform them in the Finances & Housing stakes. On the other hand, expats cited Rome, Milan, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Tokyo, Cairo, Paris, Maastricht, Moscow, and New York the world’s worst cities to live in.

Global expats on average

· 75% are happy with life in general
· 48% are happy with the cost of living
· 48% say making new friends is easy
· 68% are happy with their job
· 66% are happy with their work-life balance
· 71% are happy with the quality of medical care

The InterNations report comes two weeks after HSBC’s Expat Explorer report. The annual global survey of over 20,000 people, including over 13,500 employees who relocate to work abroad, reported on the top locations for expats to accelerate their careers and achieve their professional goals. The top ten expat spots were:

1.Hong Kong
3.Mainland China / USA
4.Jersey / UAE

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