Winner Malaga 🇪🇸 – Expat City Ranking for 2023, InterNations

Winner Malaga 🇪🇸 – Expat City Ranking for 2023, InterNations

The World’s 20 Best Cities To Live, According To Expats 🌎🏡

In its annual Expat City Ranking for 2023, InterNations has unveiled the 49 best cities for expats based on their experiences living and working abroad over the past year. The survey, encompassing over 12,000 expats from 177 nationalities residing in 181 countries, delved into various factors such as quality of life, ease of settling in, and personal finance to compile its list. Let’s explore the highlights and lowlights of this year’s ranking.

1. Malaga, Spain – Basking in Sunshine and Friendliness ☀️🇪🇸

Malaga, Spain, emerged as the top choice for expats globally, winning hearts with its rich history, vibrant arts scene (home to Picasso), delightful climate, and delectable cuisine. Not only did Malaga secure the overall top spot, but it also clinched the first position in local friendliness and climate and weather categories. However, it faced a setback in the local job market, landing at 41st place.

2. Spain Dominates – Alicante and Valencia Shine 🥈🥉

Spain celebrated a triumphant year, with Alicante and Valencia securing the second and third positions, respectively. Common threads between these cities include ease of settling in, high-quality living, and impressive personal finance rankings. Alicante stands out for affordable housing and a vibrant social scene, while Valencia takes the lead in healthcare, making Spain a hotspot for expats seeking an enjoyable and cost-effective lifestyle.

3. Madrid and Barcelona Make the Cut 🏙️🍹

Spain continued its dominance in the rankings with Madrid claiming the sixth spot, driven by a robust digital life and excellent personal finances. Barcelona also found a place in the top 20 at 13th position, showcasing the diverse appeal of Spanish cities for expats.

4. USA Fades – New York Drops to 39th 🇺🇸📉

Conversely, the United States witnessed a dip in expat satisfaction. Last year’s favorites, Miami and New York City, vanished from the top 20 list. New York City, in particular, plummeted from 16th place to 39th, mainly due to the challenges posed by a high cost of living and a compromised work-life balance.

5. Unhappy Trails in Vancouver – 47th Place 🇨🇦😞

Vancouver, Canada, found itself in the bottom tier, ranking 47th, and emerged as the city where expats felt the least content. Financial challenges, a perceived lack of social support, and difficulties in making local friends contributed to Vancouver’s lower standing in the expat community.

6. Milan and Rome: The Italian Struggles 🇮🇹💔

Italy faced expat discontent, with Milan securing the 49th position and Rome following closely at 48th. Issues encompassed bureaucratic hurdles, unsatisfactory work conditions, and a struggle to find housing. Milan, in particular, struggled with job security, job satisfaction, and overall quality of life, leaving it at the bottom of the list.

The World’s 20 Best Cities to Live 🌍🏆

  1. Malaga, Spain
  2. Alicante, Spain
  3. Valencia, Spain
  4. Ras Al Khaimah
  5. Abu Dhabi, UAE
  6. Madrid, Spain
  7. Mexico City, Mexico
  8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  9. Bangkok, Thailand
  10. Muscat, Oman
  11. Dubai, UAE
  12. Lisbon, Portugal
  13. Barcelona, Spain
  14. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  15. Nairobi, Kenya
  16. Zurich, Switzerland
  17. Athens, Greece
  18. Stockholm, Sweden
  19. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  20. The Hague, the Netherlands

Málaga: Expats’ Favorite City 🇪🇸🏰

Malaga secured the top spot globally, hailed for local friendliness and perfect weather. It ranked 2nd for finding friends and boasted an impressive Quality of Life Index. Expats highlighted its excellent work-life balance, affordable housing, and top-notch personal finance, making it an overall winner with an 88% satisfaction rate.

  • #1 Málaga offers the best cost of living in the world.
  • Incomes go a long way in #2 Bangkok.
  • #3 Alicante sees lower incomes but also low costs.
  • Vancouver (#49), New York City (#48), and London (#47) are found at the bottom of the list.

The Top 15


The Personal Finance Index is based on three factors, which were rated on a scale of one (very bad) to seven (very good): satisfaction with the financial situation, general cost of living, and whether a respondent’s disposable household income is enough to lead a comfortable life.

To be featured in the ranking, a city had to have a minimum of 50 respondents. In 2023, 49 cities made this threshold.

Affording a Great Quality of Life in #1 Málaga

Financial reasons may not be a main motivation for expats to move to Málaga — in fact, not a single respondent there gave this answer (vs. 3% globally). However, they enjoy not only a great Quality of Life (2nd) but also some of the best cost of living in the world (1st). Close to four in five (79%) rate this factor favorably (vs. just 44% globally).

I love the relaxed atmosphere, the cost of living, and the ability to socialise in many places,” shares a British expat. And while incomes are slightly below average — 58% say their gross yearly income is below or at 50,000 USD (vs. 53% globally) — 82% find that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life in Málaga (vs. 73% globally).

Alicante: Where Expats Find Housing the Most Affordable 🏠💰

Alicante, grabbing the 2nd spot, impressed with its affordability and ease of settling in. Despite a lower ranking in the Working Abroad Index, expats lauded the welcoming culture, affordable housing, and a stellar Quality of Life Index, resulting in a high 92% satisfaction rate.

Valencia: The Place with the Best Healthcare 🌡️🏥

Valencia claimed 3rd place and took the lead globally in the Quality of Life Index, emphasizing its outstanding healthcare, recreational sports opportunities, and overall affordability. While facing challenges in the Working Abroad category, Valencia secured a solid 80% satisfaction rate, showcasing a favorable environment for expats.

Milan: Expats’ Least-Favored Destination 🇮🇹😢

Milan landed at the bottom (49th place), facing criticism for bureaucratic hurdles, job insecurity, and a generally low Quality of Life Index. Despite some positive aspects like leisure options and travel opportunities, Milan struggled in expat essentials, leading to a low 56% satisfaction rate.

Rome: Where Working Abroad Is a Real Struggle 🏛️💼

Rome secured 48th place, struggling particularly in the Working Abroad category, resulting in a dismal 49th position. Expats expressed dissatisfaction with job prospects, personal finance, and the urban environment, leading to a low 60% satisfaction rate.

Vancouver: Where Expats Face Financial Challenges 🏞️💸

Vancouver landed at 47th place, facing challenges in personal finance and social life. Expats found the cost of living high, struggled to make local friends, and encountered difficulties in housing, leading to a low 35% satisfaction rate.

Malaga is not a city but a province in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. The capital and largest city of the province of Malaga is also named Malaga. The province, however, includes several other municipalities (cities and towns). Here are some of the municipalities in the province of Malaga:

  1. Malaga (capital city),
  2. Marbella,
  3. Fuengirola,
  4. Torremolinos,
  5. Benalmádena,
  6. Mijas,
  7. Estepona,
  8. Vélez-Málaga,
  9. Ronda,
  10. Antequera

Stefan Katafai offers a personalized approach to help you find the perfect property in Marbella that aligns with your budget and preferences. With his extensive network and market knowledge, Stefan will conduct a tailored search to identify suitable options for you, whether you’re interested in a luxurious villa, a beachfront apartment, or a charming townhouse.

Navigating the complex real estate market in Marbella can be daunting, but with Stefan’s guidance, you can proceed with confidence. He will provide comprehensive information about potential properties, including their location, amenities, market value, and investment potential. Stefan’s expertise in negotiations and deal structuring ensures that you make well-informed decisions and secure the best possible deal.

In addition to property search and acquisition, Stefan can assist you with other aspects of the purchase process. Whether it’s property reform, legal matters, or connecting with trusted professionals like lawyers, architects, and contractors, he has a wide network of contacts to streamline the experience for you.

If you’re considering a real estate investment in Marbella, reach out to Stefan Katafai today to discuss your requirements and benefit from his expertise. With his personalized approach and commitment to client satisfaction, Stefan will guide you towards a profitable and successful investment in the beautiful region of Marbella.

Contact information:

Stefan Katafai
Phone: +34 637 973742
Email: [email protected]



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