Mexico City is the eighth best city in the world for expats and No. 1 in North America, according to the results of an international survey.
InterNations – which bills itself as the world’s largest expat community – published its Expat City Ranking 2021 on Wednesday. The list, which ranks 57 cities, is based on the results of a survey of more than 12,000 expats.
The Mexican capital made it into the top five cities in three different categories. It ranked second for “getting started,” which gauges local friendliness, feeling welcome, friends and socializing and the ease of learning the local language, fourth for “finance and housing” and fifth for “local cost of living.”
Mexico City’s overall ranking was burdened by its 49th place in “quality of urban living,” which includes leisure and climate, transportation, safety and politics, and health and environment, and its 42nd place in “urban work life,” which encompasses job and career, job security and work-life balance.
Expats in Mexico City find it very easy to get used to the local culture (93% vs. 65% globally) and feel at home in the capital (80% vs. 65% globally), InterNations said.
They are also happy with their social life (67% vs. 57% globally) and find it easy to make new friends (73% vs. 48% globally).
Almost nine in 10 expats in Mexico City – 88% – said that locals are generally friendly toward foreign residents. The global average was considerably lower at 67%.
InterNations also found that 73% of expats in Mexico City are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 64% globally), and 92% said their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to cover their expenses (vs. 77%).
Housing is both affordable (60% vs. 42% globally) in the Mexican capital and easy to find (74% vs. 60%), the survey found.
Overall job satisfaction in Mexico City is high (sixth out of the 57 cities) but working hours (52nd) were rated negatively by 25% of respondents (vs. 16% globally).
Affecting Mexico City’s poor result on the “quality of urban living” index was that 37% of respondents reported not feeling safe. That figure is more than four times higher than the global average of 8%.
In addition, expats are dissatisfied with the public transportation system (30% vs. 20% globally) and rate the urban environment negatively (25% vs. 16%).
“There is a lot of noise and environmental pollution in the city,” said a Venezuelan expat.
On a positive note, almost nine in 10 expats in Mexico City said they like the climate, while 81% indicated they were happy with the local leisure options. A similar percentage, 83%, said they were generally happy with their life in the capital, eight points higher than the global average.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ranked as the best city for expats, followed by Málaga, Spain; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Sydney, Australia; and Singapore. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Prague, Czech Republic, took the two spots above Mexico City, while Basel, Switzerland, and Madrid, Spain, were ranked as the ninth and 10th best cities for expats, respectively.
Three other North American cities appear in the rankings. The Canadian cities of Vancouver and Toronto ranked 25th and 27th, respectively, while New York took 48th place.
Rome, Italy, ranked as the worst city for expats, while Milan, Italy, and Johannesburg, South Africa, were the second and third worst, respectively.
InterNations announced earlier this year that respondents to its Expat Insider survey had rated Mexico as the second-best country for people living and working abroad. Only Taiwan was ranked as a more attractive destination among 59 countries.
Mexico News Daily