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The Best and Worst Cities in the World for Expats in 2020

by Eben Diskin Dec 3, 2020

Remote work and the digital nomad lifestyle is now an option for an increasing number of people, so it may be time for those in need of an escape to consider their future destinations. To help future expats make a decision, InterNations has released its ranking of the best and worst cities for expats to live in, based on surveys on 25 aspects of urban life, such as Leisure & Climate, Local Friendliness, Housing, Transportation, Job & Career, Finance, Health & Environment, Work-Life Balance, Safety & Politics, and more.

It’s immediately obvious from looking at the list that warm-weather destinations are dominating. The Iberian Peninsula scores 5 of the top 10 spots, with Valencia, Alicante, and Lisbon ranking first, second, and third respectively. Malaga and Madrid come in at the sixth and ninth spots.

The 10 best cities in the world for expats according to InterNations:

  1. Valencia
  2. Alicante
  3. Lisbon
  4. Panama City
  5. Singapore
  6. Malaga
  7. Buenos Aires
  8. Kuala Lumpur
  9. Madrid
  10. Abu Dhabi

At the other end of the scale, Salmiya in Kuwait came at the bottom of the list, at 66th, largely due to issues with quality of life and difficulties for expats to get settled. Rome didn’t do much better, at 65th, receiving low scores for Quality of Urban Living and in the Urban Work Life Index. Seoul also ranked poorly, at 64th, due to the difficulty of getting settled into the busy South Korean city. It also ranked last for work-life balance.

The 10 worst cities in the world for expats according to InterNations:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Dublin
  3. Santiago
  4. Johannesburg
  5. Paris
  6. Nairobi
  7. Milan
  8. Seoul
  9. Rome
  10. Salmiya

For more information, check out the complete and detailed report.

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