Bangkok 20th on expat city list

Bangkok 20th on expat city list

Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore take top four spots worldwide in 82-city survey by InterNations

Bangkok ranks 20th on a list of expat-friendly cities in a survey conducted by InterNations, the world's largest expat community with more than 3.5 million members. The city gets high marks for affordability but its ranking was dragged down by poor scores for environmental quality and political stability.

Twelve Asian cities are featured in the Expat City Ranking 2019, with four of them -- Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore -- occupying the top four positions worldwide. Yangon was in the bottom 10 of the 82-city survey in 73rd place, just one spot below Seoul.

The rankings are based on the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations. More than 20,000 expatriates representing 178 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories provided information on various aspects of expat life.

Participants were asked to rate more than 25 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasised personal satisfaction and considered emotional and factual aspects with equal weight.

The ratings were used to create four indices -- Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, and Finance and Housing -- which were then averaged in order to rank the cities.

The survey also includes a local cost of living index, but it was not factored into the overall ranking to avoid over-representing financial aspects, InterNations said.


Coming in fifth out of all the cities surveyed in Asia, Bangkok ranks third in the Finance and Housing Index.

Some 58% of expats say housing in Bangkok is affordable (versus a global average of 36% for the same indicator), and 80% say accommodation is easy to find (vs 50% globally).

While Bangkok also ranks high for the local cost of living (9th), it performs poorly in the Quality of Urban Living Index (56th).

The vast majority of respondents are satisfied with the availability of healthcare (83% vs 73% globally) and safety (89% vs 81% globally).

"It is a much safer place for my son to grow up in," said a German expat.

However, the city is one of the worst in the world for the quality of the environment (79th) and political stability (74th).

Some 59% of respondents say the environment is poor (vs 17% globally), and 36% worry about political stability (vs 17% globally).

While Bangkok fared reasonably well in the Getting Settled Index (32nd), the Urban Work Life Index (46th) was disappointing.

"Visa regulations and the amount of paperwork needed to get a work permit makes it very difficult for expats to stay for a long period of time," a Bulgarian expat complained.

As well, only 41% of respondents rate their local career opportunities positively (vs 51% globally), and only 56% are happy with the state of the local economy (vs 66% globally).

To download the full report, visit

Do you like the content of this article?

Phuket vegetarian festival to go ahead

PHUKET: The famous Phuket vegetarian festival will go ahead this year after organisers promised strict enforcement of social distancing principles to help prevent the resurgence of Covid-19 in the province.


Chinese vaccine maker to offer shots to testing nations first

BEIJING: Chinese vaccine developer Sinovac Biotech Ltd said on Thursday that countries running its final-stage clinical trials like Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey will get its coronavirus shots at the same time as China, underscoring how vaccine supply agreements could cement diplomatic ties in the Covid-19 era.


UAE reopens all 7 regions to foreign visitors

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates resumed issuing visas to foreign visitors to all seven of its regions as of Thursday, after a six-month suspension imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported.