HCM City one of best cities in Asia for expats: survey hinh anh 1HCM City ranked 19th out of 86 cities globally for expats to live and work, according to one survey. (Photo courtesy of the city Department of Tourism)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) — HCM City ranked 19th out of 86 cities globally for expats to live and work, and was only surpassed in Asia by Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, according to the Expat City Ranking 2020 by InterNations.

In Asia, Singapore ranked fifth, Kuala Lumpur eighth, Shanghai 21st, Bangkok 30th, Tokyo 53th and Beijing 55th. Hong Kong, once ranked as one of Asia’s top cities to live and work, ranked 57th.

HCM City ranked high in the Cost of Living Index (4th) and the Finance & Housing Index (5th). Nearly three out of four expats (74 percent) rated the cost of living positively, which is 28 percentage points above the global average (46 percent). 

“Even though the overall cost of living has increased, it is still affordable,” said an expat from Australia. In fact, about two-thirds (67 percent) said their disposable household income was more than what they needed to cover expenses (compared to 51 percent globally). 

In addition, housing is seen as affordable (63 percent compared to 41 percent globally) and easy to find as well (88 percent compared to 55 percent globally).

Expats said they were satisfied with their jobs in general (6th) and were pleased with the status of the city’s economy (81 percent compared to 63 percent globally) and their work-life-balance (72 percent compared to 64 percent globally). 

The city was praised for its people’s friendliness, with 79 percent of expats rating their attitude towards foreign residents as generally friendly and sincere (compared to 66 percent globally). 

On the downside, the city performed poorly in the Quality of Urban Living Index (55th). It ranked among the bottom 10 worldwide in the Transportation subcategory (60th), as fewer than one in four expats (24 percent) rated its public transportation infrastructure positively (compared to 66 percent globally). 

The city also received poor results in the Health & Environment subcategory (59th). Only 27 percent of expats said they were happy with the city’s urban environment. According to one American expat, the southern metropolis is noisy and polluted, and there are few green spaces. 

HCM City’s ranking dropped this year, after ranking third best city for expats to live and work globally last year.

InterNations, an expat network that publishes annual rankings on the world’s best and worst countries, asked more than 15,000 expats to rank the best cities in the world to live, work and make friends in 2020. They represent 173 nationalities living in 181 countries or territories./.