The Expat Insider is an annual comprehensive survey about life abroad. This year 18,135 expats, representing 178 nationalities from around the world took the test, demonstrating the vast array of diverse perspectives and cultures.
Asian metropolises have done very well for themselves in 2018, with five of the top 10 expat cities belonging to Asia; Taipei (1st), Singapore (2nd), Ho Chi Minh City (4th), Bangkok (5th) and, Kuala Lumpur (6th).
But why are cities in Asia so high up on the list? A common theme written by the surveyed expats is the fact that Asian cities are often quite cheap in comparison to western cities, transport is usually highly efficient, and the locals are friendly and welcoming.
Taipei, the number one choice for expats, ranks in the top five for all main categories of the survey in terms of urban living, local transportation system, and safety in the city. Taipei was also named the friendliest city in the world with 94% of expats rating the friendliness of locals positively.
Other highly-regarded cities include Manama (3rd), Aachen (7th), Prague (8th), Madrid (9th) and Muscat (10th).
Now that we’ve looked at the best ranking cities, what are some of the worst?
Milan (63rd), Johannesburg (64th), Stuttgart (65th), Dublin (66th), Paris (67th), London (68th), Stockholm (69th), Rome (70th), Jeddah (71st) and, Riyadh (72nd) have all been rated poorly.
Reasons for these cities performing badly are concerns for safety, difficulty in finding a job, unaffordable living, poor transport, and unfriendly locals. Surprisingly enough, most unliveable cities for expats belong to Europe, with Rome ranking the worst city to live in within Europe.
The Expat Insider report for 2018 has demonstrated an influx of positive reviews about Asian cities with four of the top five being Asian, in comparison to 2017 when Kuala Lumpur was the only Asian city listed in the top five.
Predictions have been made that this may be the start of a trend, and Asian cities will continue to dominate the list in 2019.