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Ottawa gilt als bestes Ziel für Auswanderer, Bild: f11photo / shutterstock

The best expatriate destinations 2021

Emigrate successfully, but where to? With the Expat City Index 2021 , the construction financing experts at LoanLink24 have published a study that results in a current ranking of the best cities in the world for emigrants. The comprehensive analysis of seventy cities on 25 influencing factors was first carried out in 2019. The new edition with the latest data, including earnings, cost of living, hospitality, quality of life and remote work, allows a meaningful comparison of the conditions for expats before and after the pandemic.

The ten best emigrant destinations in 2021

  1. Ottawa, Canada

  2. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

  3. Bern, Switzerland

  4. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Toronto, Canada

  6. Canberra, Australia

  7. Madrid, Spain

  8. Amsterdam, Netherlands

  9. Reykjavik, Iceland

  10. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The Canadian capital of Ottawa successfully defends its top spot as the best destination for expats. Low living costs, an average working week of only 37 hours at full employment and attractive environmental conditions make Ottawa extremely livable.

Expats who prefer to stay in Europe should take a look at Luxembourg and Bern. Both cities offer expats the highest quality of life, a lot of security and good earning potential. However, they are also comparatively expensive. A family has to raise about 6,020 euros a month to maintain their standard of living. Expats also need to invest a little more for a permanent home. In Luxembourg, a property costs an average of around twelve annual salaries, in Bern about nine annual salaries.

The home office has celebrated its triumphal march over the world of work during the pandemic. In this study, the proportion who worked from home last year serves as an indicator of where flexible and hybrid working is likely to remain an integral part of the world of work in the future. With 47 percent of employees working from home, Luxembourg leads in this factor, followed by the Netherlands and Switzerland with 40 percent each.

German cities such as Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich have lost significantly their attractiveness for expats since the last survey in 2019. Other countries have become much more attractive than Germany over the pandemic. Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland (from 50th to 9) and Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia (from rank 29 to rank 10).

“The pandemic has permanently changed the way we live and work. With the increasing spread of hybrid work models, the number of those who are thinking about emigrating will also grow,” says Anna Friedrich, press spokesperson for LoanLink24. “With this study, we want to offer prospective expats points of contact that should help them find the ideal emigration destination.”

Other exciting findings

  • Expats can find by far the highest earning potential in Zurich and Bern.

  • No income tax (0 percent) is due in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. At 57 percent, Sweden charges the highest income tax rate.

  • With an average of 49 hours a week, expats work the longest in Mexico City.

  • With a rent of 220 euros, you pay the least for a small apartment in a city location in Mumbai, India. Living for rent in San Francisco, USA, is ten times as expensive.

  • The data analysis reveals Taipei, Taiwan, as the most hospitable city for expats. Foreigners are least welcome in Tripoli, Libya.

  • In Luxembourg, public transport is free. In contrast, a single ticket in Bern costs about 3.90 euros, making it the most expensive in the world.

  • The Russian capital Moscow is the most congested city in comparison. The residents of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates have the fewest problems with traffic jams.

  • Of course, expats get the furthest with their English skills in countries with English as their official language. This is followed by Reykjavik, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. Knowledge of English, on the other hand, is of little help in Riyadh, Tripoli and Bangkok.

  • An expat family in Buenos Aires, Argentina needs around 485 euros per month to maintain their standard of living. In San Francisco, on the other hand, a family needs a monthly income of about 9,550 euros to make ends meet.

  • On average, employees in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, are entitled to 37 vacation days. Only eight days of vacation are the standard in Hanoi, Vietnam.