What is the worst place to live

These are the best and the worst cities for expats

| Market entry abroad, studies

With Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, four Asian cities rank at the top of the best cities for expats. This is followed immediately by Montréal, Lisbon, Barcelona, ​​Zug, The Hague and Basel. This is the result of the Expat City Ranking 2019. InterNations surveyed over 20,000 participants who live and work abroad.

Similarities result from the placement

Although every city is valued by expats for different reasons, there are some things in common: They usually enjoy a high ranking in the indices “Working in the city”, “Quality of life” and “Cost of living”. It is also easy to very easy for expats to settle in there, with the exception of the Swiss cities of Basel and Zug. On the other hand, expats in Kuwait City (82nd place out of 82) and the two Italian cities of Rome (81st) and Milan (80th) are the least satisfied. Lagos (Nigeria), Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Lima, New York and Yangon (Myanmar) are also among the ten most unpopular cities in the world. In contrast to the front runners, they landed in the last 30 places in the “Working in the City” index and, apart from Paris, also in the “Quality of Life” index among the 25 cities with the worst ratings.

While all European and American cities also slide down to the 20 lowest ranks in terms of finance and housing, the other cities are in the middle. When settling in on site, the opinions of the expats vary greatly. Paris and Kuwait City, however, are considered the worst destinations in the world. The Expat City Ranking 2019 is based on the annual Expat Insider Study by InterNations. In 2019, 82 cities around the globe were examined, whereby the study offers a detailed analysis of quality of life, settling in on site, working life, finances & housing and cost of living. Together, the first four indices make up the Expat City Ranking, which presents the best and worst cities for moving abroad in 2020.

Taipei Top 1 city ranking for expats

The Taiwanese metropolis is the most popular with expats for the second year in a row. They are particularly impressed by the high quality of life. In this index, Taipei ranks third worldwide, only after Zug in Switzerland (1st) and Tokyo in Japan (2nd). Almost all expats (98 percent) are satisfied with local transport (versus 70 percent worldwide), and the majority (94 percent) rate medical care positively (versus 73 percent worldwide). Taipei is also a leading city in finance, housing and cost of living, ranking fourth in both indices. Around seven in ten expats are satisfied with the cost of living (71 percent versus 43 percent worldwide) and with their financial situation (69 percent versus 57 percent worldwide). In Taipei, 96 percent of expats feel safe in Taipei, compared to 81 percent worldwide.

Taipei has only slightly poorer ratings for working (20th) and getting used to (18th). The latter is mainly due to the fact that expats struggle with the national language (50th), while the city is still in the top 10 for friendliness (4th) and friends and social contacts (9th). Four out of five respondents (80 percent) describe the local population as friendly to foreign fellow citizens (compared to 64 percent worldwide). Two in three (67 percent) are satisfied with their social life (versus 55 percent worldwide).

© InterNations

The worst city is Kuwait City

Kuwait City ranks 82nd out of 82 in the ranking of cities for expats and ranks last in both the Gulf States and in a global comparison. In contrast to the other cities in the Gulf States, the index for settling in is the greatest weak point in Kuwait City (82nd). Here, the city comes last in every sub-category - with the exception of "Language". Almost three in five respondents (57 percent) believe that locals are unfriendly to expats (versus 19 percent worldwide). 62 percent find it difficult to make new friends (versus 35 percent worldwide) and 57 percent are dissatisfied with their social life (versus 27 percent worldwide).

Like most other cities on the Gulf, Kuwait City also scores poorly in the “Quality of Life” index and ranks 81st only ahead of Lagos in Nigeria (82nd). Kuwait City received the worst ratings worldwide for its leisure activities (62 percent unsatisfied compared to 12 percent worldwide) and the local climate and weather (67 percent unsatisfied compared to 23 percent worldwide). More than three in five expats (61 percent) are also dissatisfied with local transport (compared to 19 percent worldwide). Kuwait City has the worst ratings for environmental quality: 58 percent are dissatisfied with it (compared to 17 percent worldwide).

Another weakness of Kuwait City is working life. Here it ranks 79th and only beats Istanbul (80th), Athens (81st) and Rome (82nd). More than a third of expats (34 percent) are generally dissatisfied with the job (versus 19 percent globally), and two in five (40 percent) criticize career opportunities (versus 27 percent globally). Kuwait City also has the worst-rated work-life balance in the world: 38 percent rate this factor negatively (compared to 21 percent worldwide). On the positive side, Kuwait City ranks seventh worldwide in the “Finance” sub-category. 71 percent of expats are satisfied with their financial situation (compared to 57 percent worldwide). But that doesn't mean much if 55 percent are still dissatisfied with the cost of living (versus 38 percent worldwide).

About expat news

Expat News is a German-language service and news portal that provides readers with information on all aspects of living and working abroad.

If you have any questions / suggestions or are interested in writing articles as a guest author, those interested are welcome to contact editor-in-chief Anne-Katrin Schwanitz.


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