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New Survey Shows Expats Love Mexico City

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A new survey shows expats love Mexico City, ranking it 8th out of 57 cities in the InterNations study, “The Best and Worst Cities to Work and Live in 2021.”

The survey asked expats in 57 cities to rank their city on five areas of expat life: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, Finance and Housing, and Local Cost of Living. Participants were then asked to rate more than 25 different aspects of urban life abroad on a scale of one to seven

Mexico City landed in the top five worldwide in Getting Settled (#2), Finance and Housing (#4), and Local Cost of Living (#5). Impressively, CDMX ranked #1 in the world on the Getting Settled index subcategory, Feeling Welcome.

Expats in Mexico City also find it very easy to get used to the local culture, 93 percent vs. 65 percent globally. They also say they feel at home in Mexico’s capital city, 80 percent vs. 65 percent globally. Additionally, two-thirds are very happy with their social life, compared to 57 percent globally. And Mexico’s well-known welcoming attitude toward foreigners is recognized by expats: 88 percent describe local people as friendly towards them, compared to just 67 percent globally. That friendliness is also reflected in the 73 percent of expats who say it is easy to make new friends in CDMX.

Mexico City also does very well on the Cost of Living Index. Nearly three-fourths of the expats surveyed say they are satisfied with their financial situation (64 percent globally) and 92 percent say that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to cover their expenses (77 percent globally). One of the key reasons is the cost of housing. Expats in Mexico City say housing is both affordable and easy to find.

As with most major cities, Mexico City has its downsides, also. It ranks just 42nd out of the 57 cities surveyed on the Urban Work Life index. While overall job satisfaction is high – sixth highest in the survey – the number of working hours is rated negatively by 25 percent of the expats who live there, compared to 16 percent globally.

But the worst ranking of all for CDMX is in the Quality of Urban Living index. The city ranks in the bottom 10 of all cities surveyed. Thirty-seven percent of Mexico City expats do not feel safe in their city, about four times greater than the global average. They are also unhappy with the city’s public transportation system and rate the urban environment negatively. Most love the climate and local leisure options, but are not happy with the noise and environmental pollution in the city.

Mexico City will have bragging rights in Latin America, since no other city in our region of the world qualified for inclusion in the survey, which required a sample size of at least 50 survey participants.

The top 10 best cities for expats are: 1) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2) Málaga, Spain; 3) Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 4) Sydney, Australia; 5) Singapore, Singapore; 6) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; 7) Prague, Czech, Republic; 8) Mexico City, Mexico; 9) Basel, Switzerland; and, 10) Madrid, Spain.

At the bottom of the pile are: 57) Rome, Italy; 56) Milan, Italy; 55) Johannesburg, South Africa; 54) Istanbul, Turkey; 53) Tokyo, Japan; 52) Cairo, Egypt; 51) Paris, France; 50) Maastricht, Netherlands; 49) Moscow, Russia; 48) New York City, United States.

InterNations is the largest global community and source of information for people who live and work abroad.

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