Expat City Ranking 2017: New York City Makes Expats Feel Welcome
New York City ranks 32nd out of 51 destinations in this year’s Expat City Ranking. This average performance is mainly due to the city’s high cost of living, as well as its unaffordable housing market. Nevertheless, expats find it easy to get used to the local culture and feel at home in the city that never sleeps: 86 and 72 percent, respectively, rate these factors positively, as the so-far unpublished Expat City Ranking 2017 reveals. The ranking is based on data collected in the annual Expat Insider survey, conducted by InterNations, the largest expat community worldwide. With nearly 13,000 respondents living and working abroad, Expat Insider 2017 is one of the most extensive expat studies worldwide. Apart from offering an in-depth analysis of expat life in 51 cities, the survey ranks them by a variety of factors from the areas quality of urban living, getting settled, urban work life, as well as finance and housing. According to all these rating factors, the top 10 cities for expats are Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Basel, and Frankfurt am Main.
A Diverse and Vibrant Life in New York Comes at A High Cost
With more than three-quarters of expats (76 percent) voicing their dissatisfaction with the local living expenses, New York ranks last for this factor in the global Expat City Ranking. Moreover, eight in ten expats find it hard to find affordable housing — nearly twice the global average (44 percent) — and 48 percent even think it is very difficult. Considering the high costs, it might not be a surprise that nearly four in ten expats (38 percent) are dissatisfied with their financial situation; about one-third (32 percent) even claim that their disposable household income is not enough to cover their daily expenses. A Slovenian expat states that the “cost of living, especially housing and health care”is the downside of living in New York.
However, life in the city that never sleeps seems to be worth the price, as nearly nine in ten expats (86 percent) are satisfied with the local leisure options — thirteen percentage points more than the global average. More than half the respondents (55 percent) even rate them as very good. The wide range of leisure activities and the opportunities to meet new people might be among the reasons why 58 percent of expats are satisfied with their social life. Moreover, the majority of expats feels very welcome in the city (72 percent) and finds it easy to get used to the local culture (86 percent) — New York ranks first out of 51 cities for the latter. Interestingly, this response does not only include 22 percentage points more positive ratings than the global average (64 percent), but also a higher share than the responses to the same question about the US in general (70 percent).
Top 5 Cities Make It Easy for Expats to Get Settled and Enjoy a Great Work Life
Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, and Amsterdam top the list of the best cities for expats: while Prague lags behind on 35th place for getting settled, the other four cities receive good to excellent ratings in this respect. A South African expat living in Kuala Lumpur likes “the easy-going temperament and friendliness of the local people” while an expat from the Philippines appreciates the “very friendly and helpful locals” in Manama. The majority of expats rates the general friendliness towards foreign residents positively in Manama (84 percent), Amsterdam (83 percent), Kuala Lumpur (78 percent), and Madrid (74 percent), compared to a global average of 67 percent. Prague, however, performs below average here: only about half the expats living there (49 percent) are satisfied with this factor. Nonetheless, the capital of the Czech Republic is one of the top destinations for expats in 2017, particularly due to its outstanding ratings in terms of work: nearly seven in ten expats (68 percent) are satisfied with local career opportunities in Prague — 19 percentage points more than the global average.
InterNations Communities in the USA
Out of 2.8 million members in 390 cities around the world, there are more than 279,000 InterNations members in the USA: about 41,000 of them live in New York, making the city the largest expat community in the USA, followed by Miami, Los Angeles and Houston.
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Read More about the Expat City Ranking 2017
About the Expat City Ranking 2017
For its annual Expat Insider survey, InterNations asked about 13,000 expatriates representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries or territories to provide information on various aspects of expat life, as well as their gender, age, and nationality. In 2017, the fourth year the survey was conducted, respondents were also invited to share their opinions on the city they are currently living in.
Participants were asked to rate more than 25 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasized the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these aspects and considered both emotional topics as well as more factual aspects with equal weight. The respondents’ ratings of the individual factors were then bundled in various combinations for a total of 13 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up four topical indices: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, and Finance & Housing. These were further averaged in order to rank 51 cities worldwide. In 2017, the top 10 cities for expats are Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Basel, and Frankfurt am Main.
For a city to be featured in the Expat City Ranking 2017, a sample size of at least 45 survey participants per city was required. In total, the responses used for the city ranking represent 7,985 expats living in 40 countries.
With 2.8 million members in 390 cities around the world, InterNations (http://www.internations.org) is the largest global network and information site for people who live and work abroad. InterNations offers global and local networking both online and face-to-face. At around 6,000 monthly events and activities, expatriates have the opportunity to meet with other global minds. Online services include country and city guides created by a team of professional writers, guest contributions about life abroad, and discussion forums to help members with topics such as local housing and job searching. InterNations membership is by approval only to ensure we remain a community of trust.