'Expats feel well paid and supported' - Kuala Lumpur ranks 8th in World's Best Cities to Live

21 Nov 2023 10:17am
kuala lumpur, malaysia, architecture
kuala lumpur, malaysia, architecture

SHAH ALAM - What are the best cities to live in the world? InterNations—the largest global community for people who live and work abroad—has just released its annual Expat City Ranking, a report on the best places to live in 2023.

The list ranked 49 cities, based on how expats feel about living and working abroad in the last year. Our beloved city - Kuala Lumpur came in eight place, one spot behind Mexico City and ahead of our neighbours, Thailand’s capital Bangkok.

The top six spots are dominated by Spain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where Malaga tops the list followed by Alicante and Valencia coming in second and third respectively. UAE’s Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi are ranked fourth and fifth, and back to Spain with Madrid.

InterNations conducted a survey involving over 12,000 expatriates globally, spanning 177 nationalities and residing in 181 countries or territories. The assessment took into account various factors, including quality of life, ease of settling in, personal finance, and others, to compile the list. Here’s what the results showed: -

Kuala Lumpur: Expats Feel Well Paid and Supported

According to the report, Malaysia’s capital provided readily available housing, low costs and great social lives for the expats. It performs best in the Personal Finance Index coming in at fourth spot, with expats being very satisfied with both their financial situation (5th) and the general cost of living (4th). Not only that, 86 per cent of expats say that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life (vs 73 per cent globally).

Kuala Lumpur is ranked 12th in the Ease of Settling In Index followed by eight spot in the Finding Friends Subcategory, as expats are very happy with their social lives (10th) and have a great support network (6th).

Meanwhile, the city came in 30th in the Working Abroad Index with 80 per cent feel fairly paid for their work (vs. 62 per cent globally), with the city ranking first spot globally for this factor. Kuala Lumpur continues topping the charts with the Expat Essential coming in at fifth spot, ranks 4th in the Housing Subcategory, since expats find accommodation both affordable (3rd) and easy to find (5th).

Related Articles:

Language is also no barrier to expats living in Kuala Lumpur as it comes in third place for Language Subcategory as expats say they can easily live there without speaking the official language(s). Overall, 81 per cent of expats are happy with their life in Kuala Lumpur, compared to 72 per cent globally.

Despite enchanting expats with income and money, Kuala Lumpur performs worst in the Quality of Life Index ranking in at 38th spot. Among the rating factors were public transportation isn’t easily available (43rd), and 25 per cent of expats don’t feel safe getting around on foot or by bicycle (vs. 13 per cent globally). Another low point is safety & security, ranking at 46th spot and political stability coming in at 43rd, being a particular concern.

World’s Best Cities to live in Spain

This year, Malaga - located in Andalucia on the Costa del Sol (“Coast of the Sun”), came in first, clinching the title of world’s best city to live and work. This Mediterranean city is known for its rich history, arts and culture scene (fun fact: Picasso was born here), pleasant climate and great food.

Malaga came in first place for popular climate and weather, Personal Finance Index, general cost of living, Work & Leisure Subcategory and the work-life balance list. The city ranked second on the list for the Quality of Life Index and Leisure Options. Additionally, Málaga features among the top 10 in the Travel & Transit (8th) and Healthcare (10th) Subcategories.The city’s lowest (but still above average) index ranking is its 13th place for Working Abroad.

On the downside, it ranks 41st for the local job market but Malaga pulls ahead in the Expat Essentials Index (7th), they are also happy with the Housing (6th) situation, easy to find for expats (11th) and also easily affordable (5th). Overall, 88 per cent of expats are happy with their life in Málaga, compared to 72 per cent globally.

Malaga is just one of the five cities from Spain that made the top 20 cut. T_he other four are Alicante, Valencia (which ranked first last year), Madrid is at sixth spot (thanks to its strong digital life, good personal finances and high quality of life) and Barcelona came in 13th. The top three cities - Malaga, Alicante and Valencia, was described by InterNations as “Welcoming cultures that allow for an enjoyable and affordable life,”.

The World’s 20 Best Cities to Live:

  1. Malaga, Spain
  2. Alicante, Spain
  3. Valencia, Spain
  4. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
  5. Abu Dhabi, UAE
  6. Madrid, Spain
  7. Mexico City, Mexico
  8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  9. Bangkok, Thailand
  10. Muscat, Oman
  11. Dubai, UAE
  12. Lisbon, Portugal
  13. Barcelona, Spain
  14. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  15. Nairobi, Kenya
  16. Zurich, Switzerland
  17. Athens, Greece
  18. Stockholm, Sweden
  19. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  20. The Hague, the Netherlands

More Like This