The rise of remote work over the past few years has given rise to a whole new generation of expats, who can log onto work as usual from wherever they want.
But not all cities are equally amenable to people working. InterNations’ (an international networking site) has just released an Expat City list, ranking the best (and worst) cities for people living abroad.
The organization collected information from 11,970 expats, representing 177 nationalities and those living in 181 countries or territories. The respondents rated up to 56 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven. And then those responses were bundled into broader categories of: quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, expat essentials, and personal finance.
Valencia, Spain, takes the number one spot out of 50 cities because it’s considered livable, friendly, and affordable. Expats told InterNations that public transportation is affordable, they love the opportunities for recreational sports, and they feel safe. Around 72% said they’re happy with their social lives there, and 74% said they feel at home. Crucially, Valencia also ranked first out of all cities for cost of living.
Dubai was close behind for its great work and leisure opportunities. They also ranked Dubai’s culture and nightlife—along with the culinary variety and dining options—highly, at fifth and third place, respectively.
Mexico City rounded out the top three for its affordability and reputation of being friendly, with 82% of expats saying they feel at home there, and 89% saying they feel welcomed. The city takes the top spot for the personal finance index, with 73% of expats saying they’re happy with their financial situation there, but it got lower marks in safety subcategories.
Of course, not every city is a dream for expats. Some of the least favorite cities included Rome, Tokyo, Vancouver, Milan, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Paris, Frankfurt, and Johannesburg—all of which ranked in the bottom 10.
Here are InterNations’ top 10 cities in the world for expats, according to its 2022 ranking.
- Valencia, Spain
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Lisbon, Portugal
- Madrid, Spain
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Basel, Switzerland
- Melbourne, Australia
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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