07.12.2023 | 2 mins read 

Exploring the Happiest Cities for Expats Abroad

When it comes to living abroad, finding a city that offers a welcoming environment, quality of life, and job prospects is crucial for expats. InterNations recently conducted a survey of 12.065 expats living in various international cities to determine which places make foreigners the happiest. Let’s delve into the top-ranking cities and discover what makes them so appealing.

The Top Cities for Expats:
According to the survey, several cities stood out as havens for expats seeking happiness and fulfilment. Spain emerged as a dominant force, with Málaga, Alicante, and Valencia ranking among the top choices. Málaga, in particular, captured attention with its friendly locals, excellent quality of life, warm weather, and easy access to beautiful beaches. Expats in Málaga also appreciated the work-life balance, affordable housing options, and lower cost of living.
Other cities that made the list include Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Madrid in Spain, Mexico City in Mexico, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Bangkok in Thailand, and Muscat in Oman. These cities offered a combination of favourable factors such as employment opportunities, personal finances, and essential amenities for expat life.

Factors Influencing Expat Happiness:
The survey evaluated cities based on five key factors: quality of life (including healthcare and leisure opportunities), ease of settling in (making friends and embracing local culture), employment prospects for expats working abroad, personal finances, and “expat essentials” like housing, administration and the bureaucracy.

Cities that ranked lower on the happiness scale included Milan and Rome in Italy, Vancouver in Canada, Seoul in South Korea, London and Paris in UK and France, Istanbul in Turkey, Dublin in Ireland, among others. High living costs and a lack of friendliness were cited as reasons for their lower ratings.

Choosing the right city as an expat can significantly impact one’s overall happiness and satisfaction with the international experience. The InterNations survey provides valuable insights into the cities that offer a welcoming environment, good quality of life, and promising job prospects for foreigners. Whether it’s the warm beaches of Málaga or the vibrant streets of Bangkok, expats have a range of options to consider when seeking their ideal forever home abroad.

It’s important to note that while these rankings provide a general overview, personal preferences and individual circumstances may vary. Conducting thorough research and considering factors that are most important to you will help ensure a successful and fulfilling expat experience.