Most popular expat cities revealed

A new survey of more than 14,000 global expats has revealed that more than half of the most popular 50 cities among expats are located in English-speaking countries.

New York came out on top, closely followed by London, Barcelona, Sydney and San Francisco..

Although New York is the most popular destination among expats in general, responses vary widely according to such factors as gender, age group, and nationality. Both men and women prefer the Bi Apple” to all other places worldwide, but the lower ranks of their respective top 10 vary:

While women dream of moving to Rome (7th for female respondents), Berlin (9th) or Cape Town (10th), these three cities are missing from the ten favourites among the male participants. For the latter, Singapore (5th), Dubai (7th), and Vancouver (9th) turn out to be more desirable destinations of choice.

Age also plays an important part in determining a city’s popularity: New York is especially beloved among expatriates in their late 20s, while younger expats aged 25 or below have a preference for Tokyo, which does far better among this age group than among older participants.

Mature expats, on the other hand, are longing for the sunny tropics. Compared to the total survey population, the 50+ generation is particularly fond of Bangkok and Honolulu as the dream destinations for best agers.

Many nationalities seem to be dreaming of home instead of exotic destinations: For Canadian respondents, the city of their dreams is Vancouver, with Toronto in fifth place. Sydney and Melbourne rank second and third, respectively, among Australian expats, while Amsterdam is the third-favorite city of Dutch expatriates

Other respondents would simply prefer to move within their adopted country: those living in the US, for instance, call San Francisco their dream destination. Expats in Australia would opt for a life in Sydney first, while expatriates living Italy cannot resist the manifold charms of Rome.

Top ten most popular expat destinations

New York




San Francisco