InterNations, the world’s largest expat networking group with 3.5 million members from 420 cities, recently released its sixth annual Expat Insider survey. More than 20,000 expats, representing 178 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories, responded on various aspects of expat life to rank the best and worst cities for expats.

The survey focused on four critical areas: 

  1. quality of urban living
  2. ease of getting settled
  3. urban work life
  4. housing and finance

The results this year may not be surprising, as the top spot for "best expat city" holds its rank for the second year in a row. Four Asian cities are in the top five: 

  1. Taipei
  2. Kuala Lumpur
  3. Ho Chi Minh City
  4. Singapore
  5. Montreal

Taipei has secured its first place ranking thanks to its transportation system, healthcare and also affordable cost of living and housing. Kuala Lumpur secured second place because expatriates expressed their satisfaction on how easy it is to settle into this metropolitan city.

Major cities such as San Francisco, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Rome, to name a few, were ranked in the bottom 10. The reason Paris was there was mainly due to unfriendliness toward foreigners. San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles were low on the list due to cost of living. Only seven U.S. cities made the global list for best places to live and work as expats.