Singapore Best City in Asia for Expats, Bangkok Ranks Second with Penang and KL Trailing

Singapore Best City in Asia for Expats, Bangkok Ranks Second with Penang and KL Trailing

Embark on your adventure in Asia's top cities for expats! From bustling city centers to captivating natural beauty, each city offers a unique experience tailored to your lifestyle and career. Asia boasts a dynamic and evolving business environment, with fast-growing capitals offering numerous opportunities for expatriates seeking a fresh start.

According to research conducted by language learning platform Preply, there are 21 highly sought-after destinations in Asia for expatriates. Using 9 relevant relocation metrics, the study considers factors such as the average monthly cost of living for expatriates, average salaries, safety scores, and more.

In this ranking, Singapore takes the top spot as the best city in Asia and globally for expatriates in 2024. With high standards of cleanliness and safety, and a wealth of cultural riches to explore, the city is an ideal choice for expatriates.

Bangkok, Thailand, secures the second spot on this list. A remarkable 19% of visitors return to this city, confirming its popularity. With 347 activities to indulge in, from tempting street food to magnificent temples, Bangkok also stands out as one of the best cities in Asia for expats, offering an affordable cost of living (US$1,043 per month) and high-speed internet (92 Mbps).

In third place are Dubai and Penang, Malaysia. Penang offers an average monthly cost of living of around $691, while Dubai is known for its luxurious lifestyle, despite a high cost of living of $3,787 per month. However, an enticing benefit for expatriates in Dubai is its tax laws, which exempt those earning more than £50,000 from taxes, adding to the city's appeal.

Next on the list is Chiang Mai, which ranks fourth with a monthly cost of living of around $665. Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ranks fifth with a monthly cost of living of around $1,064.

Planning to move to Singapore? Discover the most affordable areas in the country!

With 1.23 million expatriates and migrant workers in Singapore by 2022, Preply also researched the most affordable and expensive areas to rent a one-bedroom condo. Ang Mo Kio stands out with the best rental prices, consuming only 23% of household income ($5,499 income, $1,268 rent per month). Sembawang comes in second with a higher monthly income ($8,499) and almost double the rent of Ang Mo Kio ($2,329), accounting for about 27% of expenses. Yishun comes in third (28%), followed by Punggol in fourth (29%) and Choa Chu Kang in fifth (30%), rounding off the list with the highest percentage of expenditure on rent.

Meanwhile, Toa Payoh tops the list as the most expensive rental area in Singapore, with 91% of residents' income spent on rent, an average income of around $5,499 and a rent cost of around $5,007. Bukit Merah is a close second, with 86% of income spent on rent, and rents of around $4,712 per month. Third on the list is Outram (77%), followed by Kallang (75%) and Geylang (66%).

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