Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei, Expats, Mobility, Index ranking

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Ranked 2nd among Asian cities, Bangkok came in 5th globally; Ho Chi Minh City ranked 13th (3rd in Asia), and Taipei took the 17th spot (4th in Asia).

With borders opening up, more and more people are choosing to move abroad to better themselves, learn new skills, and expand their horizons. In fact, according to Preply, the number of expats around the world has grown by 5.8% each year since 2013.

For a better understanding, Preply's global index has ranked 60 of the most popular destinations to find the top cities for expats in 2022 based on 11 relevant relocation metrics. These include average monthly salaries, how safe the area is, the average length of time to learn the language fluently, and more.

Topping the list, Kuala Lumpur ranked the number one city globally for expats in 2022. 

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In second place among Asian cities, Bangkok ranked fifth overall globally; while Ho Chi Minh City ranked 13th globally (third in Asia), and Taipei also made the list in the 17th spot (fourth in Asia).

What made Kuala Lumpur stand out?

With an overall expat relocation score of 6.62, Preply ranked Kuala Lumpur as the best city for expats.

According to the research, monthly living costs for relocators in Malaysia's largest city amount to around £903 (~USD $1,016.16), with the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom property in the city centre being £363 (~USD$408.49).

Business professionals and remote workers might also appreciate Kuala Lumpur’s coworking spaces, which cost an average of £76 each month (~USD$85.52), the lowest out of the top 20 cities in the ranking. However, the city’s internet speed was found to be among the slowest in ranking, at just 11 Mbps.

Meanwhile, per the research, the cost of living as an expat is relatively high in Bangkok at £1,725 (~USD $1941.18) – and the average monthly salary after tax is £492 (~USD $553.66).

However, after Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok has the most affordable monthly rent for a one-bedroom city centre property at £451 (~USD $507.52), and a meal costs around £2.11 (~USD $2.37).


Full rankings: Top 20 cities globally for expats

On a whole, the top 20 cities ranked for expats to work and live in are as follows:

  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. Tbilisi, Georgia
  3. Lisbon, Portugal
  4. Dubai, UAE
  5. Bangkok, Thailand
  6. Prague, Czech Republic
  7. Madrid, Spain
  8. Barcelona, Spain
  9. Alicante, Spain
  10. Montreal, Canada
  11. Muscat, Oman
  12. Braga, Portugal
  13. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  14. Porto, Portugal
  15. Tallinn, Estonia
  16. Abu Dhabi, UAE
  17. Taipei, Taiwan
  18. Valencia, Spain
  19. Málaga, Spain
  20. Bern, Switzerland

View the full methodology behind the findings.


Lead image / Shutterstock

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