The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (KL) has been crowned as the world’s best place for expatriates to live in.
In a recent survey carried out by InterNations titled “Expat City Ranking”, where they had collected responses from a total of 12,420 expatriates representing 174 nationalities living in 186 countries across the globe.
Surprisingly, Kuala Lumpur came out on top of the list, dethroning our neighbour, Singapore.
The Expat City Ranking was conducted annually and they focused on 57 different cities this year. One of the criteria for being considered in the survey includes having a minimum sample size of 50 respondents from each city.
The survey asked respondents to provide ratings for various factors and all bundled up into four different indices, namely Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, and Finance & Housing.
Being ranked first in the Getting Settled index for 2021, the report said KL is a particularly great place to make new connections for fresh-off-the-plane expats. It is also the 3rd time KL dominates this category, with a whooping 74% of expatriates saying they have a rather happy social life here.
Meanwhile, 65% of expatriates living in KL agreed that it is easy to make new friends in the city. This may be attributed to the dense population of expats in the Malaysian capital, with one Swiss respondent calling the city “very international with lovely people.”
Another factor that expatriates find the city friendly is the fact that most people can get around with daily life without speaking the local language, Bahasa Melayu. Only 27% of the expatriates is able to speak the local language fairly well, with the remaining speak a little or none at all.
On the other hand, the expatriates also find KL locals friendly, with with more than four in five expats (81%) rating the general friendliness of the local population positively compared to the global average of 69%.
Above all, the most important factor is that the city makes the expatriates feel right at home, with 75% of them agreeing on this.
“When it comes to affordable living, it doesn’t get much better than the Malaysian capital.” the report said.
Besides that, KL also dominates the Finance & Housing index and it is the destination for affordable and easily available expat housing.
About 91% of expatriates agree that it is easy to find housing in the city (60% globally), and 74% of them being able to find affordable housing.
Commenting on the financial situation of KL expats, about 80% viewed them positively compared to the global 64-percent average.
Despite being ranked the best city for expatriates, it is also important to note that KL ranks 41st in the Quality of Urban Living index and when it comes to micro-factors such as political stability, personal safety, public transport, and the urban environment, Kuala Lumpur actually ranks below the global average.
Read the full Expat City Ranking 2021 here.
Do you agree with the survey findings? Share your thoughts!