lifestyle

Survey Says KL Is The Best City In The World For Expats

According to InterNations' Expat City Ranking 2021 survey, expats describe Kuala Lumpur as an "easy" place to live and that "making friends is not difficult" as the city is "very international with lovely people".

Cover image via Lim Huey Teng/Reuters & Sadho/SAYS

Subscribe to our Telegram channel for our latest stories and breaking news.

Kuala Lumpur (KL), the Malaysian capital, is the best city in the world for expats to live and work, according to the latest survey of more than 12,000 respondents from a global expatriate networking group

In the survey by Munich-based InterNations, KL topped the list of 57 cities for expats worldwide.

According to InterNations' Expat City Ranking 2021 survey, expats describe KL as an "easy" place to live and that "making friends is not difficult" as the city is "very international with lovely people".

Spanish city Malaga and United Arab Emirates' Dubai took the second and third spots, respectively.

Image via Sadho/SAYS

Expats find it easy to making connections in KL


"74% are happy with their social life in KL, and close to two-thirds of expats in the city (65%) agree that it’s easy to find new friends there, compared to 57% and 48% globally," the survey said.

It also found that a staggering 75% of the expats feel right at home in Kuala Lumpur.

Over 92% of them believe that it's easy to live in the city without speaking the local language and that majority of them rate the general friendliness of the local population positively and that people here are generally friendly towards foreign residents, said the survey which was conducted in January 2021.

It's easy to live here, and the people are wonderful.
A KL-based US expat

In terms of affordable living, expats in KL have it best in the world

According to the survey report, "when it comes to affordable living, it doesn't get much better than the Malaysian capital", adding that KL has consistently ranked in the top 3 for Finance & Housing since 2017.

"Kuala Lumpur is THE destination for affordable and easily available expat housing, ranking first in the Housing Subcategory," the report said, adding that KL is "generally quite an affordable place to live".

The survey found that expats in KL are the most satisfied of all respondents with their financial situation, ad that almost one in ten expats in KL say their annual income is over USD200,000.

Another KL-based US expat was quoted as saying in the report that she loves "the culturally diverse environment" here and that the "overall friendliness" of Malaysians makes it the best place to retire.

While KL was the overall winner of the Expat City Ranking 2021, it scored abysmally in quality of urban living and happiness level

The city gets average results in the Urban Work Life Index, coming in at the 30th spot.

According to the survey, while expats are very happy with their working hours and their work-life balance, they are not so happy with the state of the local economy and the career opportunities here.

KL only ranks 41st in the Quality of Urban Living Index.

Expats' satisfaction in KL is below the global average when it comes to political stability, personal safety, the public transportation system, and the urban environment, the survey found.

Image via InterNations

In June this year, The Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Global Liveability Index had named two Asian cities among the top 10 cities:

Read more latest stories on SAYS: