Kuala Lumpur is the top city for expats to live and work abroad in 2021, according to a survey of more than 12,000 respondents from InterNations, an online expat community with more than 4 million global members.
The Malaysian capital city leads the list of 57 cities around the world. Málaga, a port city in southern Spain, and Dubai, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, rank as the second and third, respectively.
The survey, conducted in January 2021, asked expats to rate their satisfaction across four main categories, including quality of life (like a healthy environment and robust WiFi infrastructure), ease of settling in (such as language barriers and friendliness of local residents), personal finance (such as access to affordable health care) and working abroad (such as job security and a stable local economy).
Prague not only makes it into the global top 10 of the Expat City Ranking (7th) but also into the top 5 for two indices.
It ranks 4th in the Urban Work Life Index, after Munich (1st), Aachen (2nd), and Dublin (3rd). Expats are particularly happy with the local career opportunities (60% vs. 45% globally), work-life balance (79% vs. 66% globally), and working hours (82% vs. 66% globally).
The city also comes 5th in the Quality of Urban Living Index. “I enjoy the great opportunities for socializing, activities, and traveling, and personal growth,” states a female expat from Ukraine.
In fact, 83% of expats rate the local leisure options favorably (vs. 72% globally), and 91% are happy with the transportation system (vs. 69% globally).
Healthcare is not only easily available (87% vs. 76% globally) but also easy to afford (85% vs. 61% globally). When it comes to housing, things look a little different: while it is easy to find for expats (73% vs. 60% globally), 43% find it hard to afford (vs. 39% globally).
Despite this, Prague ranks 14th in the Finance & Housing Index, and nearly two-thirds (66%) are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally). It does even better in the Local Cost of Living Index (11th): 61% rate this factor positively (vs. 48% globally).
The Getting Settled Index (38th) shows some rather mixed results. Expats find the local residents generally unfriendly (32% vs. 16% globally), as well as unfriendly towards foreign residents (35% vs. 18% globally), ranking the city 53rd in the Local Friendliness Subcategory.
“The culture can be a bit brusque,” says a female expat from Canada. However, 72% are happy with their social life (vs. 57% globally) and feel at home in Prague (vs. 65% globally).