Kuala Lumpur Is Named the World's Best City for Expats in 2021

Kuala Lumpur Is Named the World’s Best City for Expats in 2021

Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City also made it on the list!

Looking to work in a different country by next year? You might wanna consider the cities included in the Expat City Ranking 2021 by InterNations, a global expatriate networking group. Here, they’ve surveyed a total of 12,420 expats of 174 nationalities and living in 186 countries all over the world. 

Moving from 8th place last year, Kuala Lumpur is crowned the best city for expats this year. Other Southeast Asian cities that made it to the top 10 are Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City

Expat City 2021 Ranking: The Best Cities for Expats in 2021

For a city to be included on the list, experts from InterNations required a sample size of at least 50 survey participants per city. This year, a total of 57 cities met this requirement. Below are the ones narrowed down to 15 cities across the globe:

  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. Málaga, Spain
  3. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  4. Sydney, Australia
  5. Singapore
  6. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  7. Prague, Czech Republic
  8. Mexico City, Mexico
  9. Basel, Switzerland
  10. Madrid, Spain
  11. Bangkok, Thailand
  12. Nairobi, Kenya
  13. Shanghai, China
  14. Vienna, Austria
  15. Doha, Qatar

Also read: Far from Home During A Pandemic: 11 Expats & Foreign Students from Asia Share Their Experiences So Far

Why the Malaysian capital is an ideal place for expats

Image credit: Vietchien Petchmai via Canva Pro

Aside from clinching the title for overall best city for expats, Kuala Lumpur also placed first in the Housing sub-category and the Gettling Settled index. That means two things: It’s a great pick for both accessible and affordable housing, as well as for making connections easily! Furthermore, 92% of expats agree that living there is easy even with little to no grasp on the local language. 

Image credit: kenhophotography via Canva Pro

Kuala Lumpur also placed second next to Ho Chi Minh city in the Finance sub-category. 64% of expats here have a disposable household income that is more than enough to cover local expenses.

However, it gets lower results in the Quality of Urban Living index, with a ranking of only 41st. And when it comes to micro-factors such as political stability, personal safety, public transport, and the urban environment, this city actually ranks below the global average.

Which are the most liveable cities?

Image credit: RossHelen via Canva Pro

Vienna landed the top spot in the Quality of Urban Living index, thanks to a variety of aspects like urban environment, eco-friendly architecture, noise levels, and local healthcare. In fact, 94% of expats rated its urban environment quite positively.

Second place is Basel, which is also crowned the best in the Transportation sub-category. 100% of respondents agree that its public transportation is top-notch, whether it’s buses or bike lane; essentially, there’s absolutely no need to get your own private vehicle when living in this Swiss city

Image credit: Rafael_Wiedenmeier via Canva Pro

Placing third in this index is Singapore — making it the highest among Southeast Asian cities. It also placed first in the Safety and Politics sub-category. 99% of expats living in the city-state have good feedback on their personal safety; while 95% rate the political stability highly.  

Also read: Here Are the World’s Most Expensive Cities to Live in, Singapore Ranks First in Asia

For the full report on the best cities for expats in 2021, click here

Thinking of pursuing the digital nomadic life rather than the usual expat? Check out this ranking of best cities for remote workers

Featured image credit: NeoPhoto via Canva Pro

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.


Related Posts