International expat organization InterNations has issued their annual Top Cities for Expats ranking list, and hold onto your baju – the greatest gosh-darn city to live in the world, Kuala Lumpur has cracked the upper echelons and been voted fourth best city to live in the whole wide world.
Over 25 aspects of urban life abroad were ranked on a scale of one to seven. InterNations asked that respondents give both emotional and factual aspects equal weight when answering. The four topical indices were: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, and Finance & Housing. The values were then averaged, and compared with 51 cities worldwide.
Kuala Lumpur ranked second in the Getting Settled Index, with respondents highlighting that the city was easy to live in, with widespread English communication.
At the top was surprisingly Bahrain’s capital, Manama – with survey respondents citing it not only an easy place to live, with equally widespread English, but also calling it a good workplace in terms of finances, work-life balance and career growth.
At the bottom? Lagos. A poor local economy, and quality of life have landed Africa’s most populous city at the bottom of the table.
Earlier this year, the same organization issued their Expat Insider 2017 Survey, with Malaysia experiencing the biggest jump on their rankings of best place to live as an expat.
Last year’s ranking of 38th overall has now jumped to 15th, with many of those who relocated here lauding the ease of adapting to daily life in the country. Devising their own matrix referred to as the “Ease of Settling In Index”, InterNations reports that Malaysia jumped from 18th last year, to 5th this year, in the entire world.
Of those who took the survey, 78% reported that it was easy to settle down in Malaysia, up from 69% in 2016. Seven out of nine also report it easy to adapt to the local culture.
One in four have added that it is easy to make new friends in Malaysia, up from 18% in the previous year. One South African respondent detailed that “the easy-going temperaments and friendliness of the local people, the weather, and good travel options” made the country a great place to live. Incredibly, 71% of the respondents reported that they felt at home in the country.
Surprisingly, while the local population struggles with the current economic climate, with even celebrities airing their grievances, on the InterNations rankings, Malaysia is on the rise, going from last year’s 25th place to 15th this year. The organization does point out that respondents’ answers remain unchanged from the year prior. The climb to the top may have more to do with other destinations falling in their rankings, rather than the local climate changing.
Well, looks like the secret is out: Kuala Lumpur is a brilliant place to live, with a wide variety of foods – local and international, amazing people, with a friendly and open local culture and convenient H&Ms on every other corner.