HCMC is 3rd best city for expats in 2020: survey

By Minh Nga   December 4, 2019 | 04:59 pm PT
HCMC is 3rd best city for expats in 2020: survey
A foreign man wears a Vietnam headband as he watches Vietnam's World Cup qualification match against UAE on Nguyen Hue walking street in HCMC, November 14, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Despite making poor impression with environment pollution, Vietnam’s economic hub HCMC has climbed to the world’s third best city for expats to live and work in next year.

Accommodation, finance and low cost of living make the city attractive to expats, a survey by InterNations, the largest global community and information site for people who live and work abroad, found.

Expat City Ranking polled more than 20,000 people representing 178 nationalities living in 187 countries and territories about 82 cities around the globe. They were asked questions on quality of urban living, getting settled, urban work life, finance and housing, local cost of living, and happiness level.

Ho Chi Minh City did well in almost all of them except the quality of urban living index, where it ranked 63rd.

It topped in the Finance and Housing Index with close to nine in 10 saying it is easy to find housing, compared to 50 percent globally. 77 percent said they are happy with their financial situation in the city, compared to the global average of 57 percent.

In the Local Cost of Living Index 81 percent are satisfied with the cost of living in the city against the global rate of 43 percent.

In the Urban Work Life index it stands third behind Aachen in Germany and Prague in the Czech Republic.

Expats are particularly happy with their jobs (79 percent vs 64 globally), local career opportunities (68 percent vs 51 percent) and working hours (75 percent vs 62 percent).

It is third in both the Local Friendliness and Friends and Socializing subcategories of the Getting Settled index, with 88 percent of expats finding locals friendly toward foreign residents against 64 percent globally.

The only category in which it scores poorly is quality of life where it ranks 63rd, with the quality of environment doing even worse (73rd).

A German expat complained: "I do not like the dirty streets, the bad environment management, the missing awareness about plastic, but also the very bad garbage management. Everyone throws their waste on the streets."

Expats also did not rate the local leisure and transportation options highly, ranking them 68th and 64th.

Survey: HCMC is 3rd best city for expats in 2020 (embargo)

Now in its sixth year, the annual ranking puts Taipei in Taiwan top of the list and Kuwait at the bottom. Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Singapore are second and fourth and are the only Southeast Asian cities along with HCMC to make the top 10.

Last year HCMC was fourth in the ranking.

In a report that InterNations released September, Vietnam was ranked second best place in the world for expats. Earlier this year HSBC said in a survey that expats in Vietnam earn higher than global average incomes.

There are around 83,500 expats in Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

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