Kuala Lumpur has been named the “biggest winner” in a study on expats around the world by InterNations, an expatriate network and global guide.
The ranking is based on data from the annual Expat Insider Survey, which asked around 13,000 expats representing 166 nationalities in 188 countries to rate over 25 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven.
A country had to be mentioned at least 45 times to be included. Apart from offering an in-depth analysis of expat life in 51 cities, the survey ranks the countries according to various factors like quality of urban living, getting settled, urban work life, as well as finance and housing.
According to the report, Malaysia has climbed a whopping 23 places from the 38th place in 2016 to 15th this year. The report stated that 78% of expats have generally found it easy to settle down in Malaysia, compared to 69% in 2016.
Meanwhile, seven in nine agreed that it’s easy to get used to the local culture with 26% completely agreeing to this. This number was at 12% last year. One in four expats also find it very easy to make new friends in Malaysia.
Malaysia remains in the top choices at 14th place for personal happiness index. In comparison, Singapore trails behind at the 43rd position. As for work-life balance, Malaysia ranks 17th on the index.
The position of disposable income for expats living in Malaysia is positive, probably a driving factor for expats to stay longer. 61% said they are generally satisfied with their own financial situation and 85% are happy to have more than sufficient to balance their budgets and still have enough for entertainment.
The majority of expats rate the general friendliness towards foreign residents positively in Manama (84%)‚ Amsterdam (83%)‚ Kuala Lumpur (78%)‚ and Madrid (74%)‚ compared to a global average of 67 percent. Bahrain, won top spot overall because of its exceptional performance on almost all the four indices, followed by Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, and Portugal.