The Vietnamese largest city does well in the Urban Work Life Index and is the best city in terms of overall job satisfaction.
InterNations, the world’s largest expat community with around 4 million members, publishes its Expat City Ranking 2021. It is based on the annual Expat Insider survey, which is one of the most extensive surveys about living and working abroad. This year, 12,420 expats participated in the survey.
In 2021, 57 cities around the globe are analyzed in the Expat City Ranking, offering in-depth information about five areas of expat life: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, Finance & Housing, and Local Cost of Living. Taken together, the first four areas make up the Expat City Ranking, which reveals the best and worst cities for expats to live in.
Seven Asian cities are featured in the Expat City Ranking 2021. Kuala Lumpur ranks 1st out of 57, followed by Singapore (5th), Ho Chi Minh City (6th), Bangkok (11th), Shanghai (13th), Hong Kong (46th), and Tokyo (53rd).
Most of the Asian cities featured in the survey are among the best-rated cities worldwide in terms of getting settled, finance and housing, and the local cost of living. However, Tokyo and Hong Kong land among the ten worst-rated cities worldwide: among other things, expats find it particularly hard to settle down in Tokyo and are unhappy with the cost of living in Hong Kong.
Here’s What Expats Think About Life in Ho Chi Minh city
The Cost of Living Is Excellent, the Quality of Life Less So
Ranking 6th out of 57 in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Ho Chi Minh City makes it into the top 10 for four indices — and ends up in the bottom 10 for the fifth one. It ranks 2nd in both the Local Cost of Living Index — 84% rate the local cost of living positively (vs. 48% globally) — and the Finance & Housing Index. It even tops the list in the Finance Subcategory (1st): 75% of expats say that their disposable household income is more than enough to cover expenses (vs. 52% globally), and 77% are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally). They also find housing affordable (61% vs. 42% globally) and easy to find (88% vs. 60% globally).
The Vietnamese city does well in the Urban Work Life Index (10th) and is the best city in terms of overall job satisfaction (1st). In fact, 88% of expats are satisfied with their job in general (vs. 68% globally).
Ho Chi Minh City also scores high in the Getting Settled Index (10th): expats find it easy to make new friends (77% vs. 48% globally), are happy with their social life (74% vs. 57% globally), and describe the local people as generally friendly towards foreign residents (93% vs. 67% globally). While 80% find it hard to learn the local language (vs. 42% globally), 77% say it is easy to live there without speaking it (vs. 54% globally).
Lastly, the city lands in the bottom 10 of the Quality of Urban Living Index (52nd). It comes second to last in the Transportation Subcategory (56th), just ahead of Johannesburg (57th). Nearly two in three expats (65%) are unhappy with this factor (vs. 20% globally), and 49% rate the urban environment negatively (vs. 16% globally). A Canadian expat explains: “The environmental quality can be challenging, such as pollution, lack of recycling, and noise.”
The Best and Worst in the World for Expats
Out of 57 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2021, Kuala Lumpur (1st), Málaga, Dubai, Sydney, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague, Mexico City, Basel, and Madrid (10th) are the top 10 cities for expats to live in 2021. On the other hand, expats consider Rome (57th), Milan, Johannesburg, Istanbul, Tokyo, Cairo, Paris, Maastricht, Moscow, and New York (48th) the world’s worst cities to live in.