Kuala Lumpur is the best city for expats, closely followed by Malaga or Dubai. Rome was rated as least friendly.
According to more than 12,000 expats, the Top Five Cities were Sydney, Singapore, and Milan.
InterNations is a Munich-based network of expats. In the January 2021 survey, members were asked to rank their satisfaction in four areas: quality of life; ease of setting up, personal finances, and working abroad.
Malaysia’s capital was the top of the list. Expats were apraising its culture, affordability and availability to housing.
Surprisingly, 78% of respondents appreciated Kuala Lumpur’s culture and another 77% praised Kuala Lumpur’s friendliness towards international residents.
Kuala Lumpur was named the top expat city, followed by Malaga (Malaga) and Dubai. Rome is the worst.
American expat says: “I love Kuala Lumpur’s culturally rich environment. Malaysia is the perfect place for retirees because it has a lot to offer in terms of friendliness.
In Kuala Lumpur, 82% of expats said that they are satisfied with their current financial status, which is compared to 64% globally.
Malaga and Dubai were ranked as second and third best cities for expats respectively. Both countries are praised for their ease of settling in.
Expats said local populations friendly towards foreign residents and they found it easy to make friends in the two nations – a feat which can be intimidating for those relocating their lives.
One Indian expat living in Dubai described the locals as warm, friendly and welcoming.
With Dubai being close behind, Singapore and Sydney were closely followed by Singapore. Expats praise the cities’ quality of urban life.
Residents of Sydney were especially happy about the variety of leisure activities, the weather and the high quality medical care.
In the meantime, 92% expats were positive about their urban surroundings.
A male Pakistani expat said that he likes the environment and beautiful scenery.
Singapore’s social life scores high with 56% reporting that it is easy to find new friends, and 60% reporting satisfaction with the quality of their life.
However, the Asian city-state fell down in the Cost of Living category and landed in 43rd.
A massive 63 per cent of respondents rated living costs in Singapore negatively, up from 34 per cent globally.
There was a silver lining to these high costs. 79% expats stated that they can easily find housing. That’s up from 60% worldwide.
Malaga (pictured) was ranked number two and three as best expat cities, while Dubai was ranked third. The countries were both praised for making it easy for them to settle down.
Dubai expats reported that they were friendly to foreigners and made friends easily in both countries. This is a great relief for anyone who has recently moved.
Two Italian cities were at the bottom of the ranking – Rome and Milan – as well as Johannesburg in South Africa.
In a damning review of Rome, 31% expats said that Rome is “unfriendly”, up from 18% globally.
Rome’s expats said that their problems with job security, career options and work hours were all common. A male British expat also called the economy “terrible” and stated that the wages were low.
Climate and weather were the only highlights, with 82 percent of the respondents happy, compared to 66% globally.
Expat Insider’s ranking of 56th ranked Milan, another Italian city, was not much better.
Many expats stated that they are unhappy with the work-life balance of their jobs and hours worked, even though Milan’s average weekly hours is 38.1 hours, compared to 39.9.
This city was ranked 44th for ease of settlement. However, 27% more expats than the global average (16%) said that the population is generally hostile.
However, 33% of the expats surveyed said that Milan was not home to them.
Rome was called ‘unfriendly’ by 31% of expats in an unfavorable review. This is up from the 18% globally.
Expat Insider’s ranking of 56th place in Expat Insider’s Top 100 Cities list did not reflect Milan as a good neighbor.
Around two thirds (or more) of Johannesburg expats reported being unhappy with Johannesburg’s public transportation system. An astounding 68% said they worried about their personal safety. This is an increase from the global average of 8%.
A former Irish expat stated that he believes he should ‘always remain on guard’ due to security concerns.
South African cities also rank near the bottom in terms of work-life satisfaction. 41% said they were unhappy with their current career opportunities. That’s up from 33% worldwide.
According to a Kenyan expat, “The time required for finding work was overwhelming and stressful.”
The list was dominated by European cities, and four of them – Rome Milan, Paris, Maastricht – were at the bottom.
The survey was completed by over 6,000 residents. It also included questions regarding how the Covid-19 epidemic has affected their intentions to relocate abroad.