Around the world, people agree that the best U.S. city to try living and working abroad is Miami, Florida.
The South Florida beach and nightlife destination ranks 12th out of 50 global cities as being a top place for expats to live and work abroad, according to a survey of more than 12,000 respondents from InterNations, an online expat community with more than 4.5 million global members.
Not too far behind is New York City, which ranks 16th out of 50.
Miami and New York are the only U.S. cities considered for the ranking, which requires a sample of at least 50 survey participants living in the destination.
The survey, conducted in February 2022 and released in late November, asked expats to rate their satisfaction across five main categories, including quality of life (like a healthy environment and robust public transit), ease of settling in (such friendliness of local residents), personal finance (such as access to affordable health care), working abroad (such as job security and a stable local economy), and “expat essentials,” which covers digital life, housing options, language barriers and dealing with local government and administrative tasks.
Expats in Miami say it’s very easy to settle in, adjust to local culture, find high-speed internet access at home, pay without having to get cash, and open a local bank account.
Miami has also become a growing hotspot for Americans, too: A handful of tech and finance companies relocated there during the pandemic, lured by warm weather and tax advantages. People have also been trading big cities like New York and Los Angeles for Miami, where a Covid-fueled influx has driven up the real estate market and made it more pricey to live.
The South Florida city didn’t rank so well in the survey’s “working abroad” index. While newcomers enjoy ample career opportunities and a creative business community, roughly 1 in 4 is unhappy with their working hours.
They also report being dissatisfied with Miami public transit and unaffordable, if not completely inaccessible, health care.
At No. 16, newcomers to New York say the city is great for their careers, with a majority who say they’re happy with the local job market, satisfied with their personal career opportunities, robust public transit and accessible digital life. The biggest downside to living there, though, is on the personal finance front: 58% of expats living in New York are unhappy with the cost of living, compared with 35% who feel the same way around the world.
Overall, Miami and New York stand out with great leisure options, career prospects, a welcoming culture and few language barriers, but are dragged down with high cost of living and low scores across InterNations’ “quality of life” index, including travel and transit, health and wellbeing, and safety and security.
Still, an overwhelming majority, 85%, of expats living in Miami are happy with their life in general, as well as 74% of expats in New York, compared with the 71% global average.
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