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What expats think of life in Auckland – the good and the bad

Auckland ranks 22nd in the Expat City Ranking 2020 by InterNations, the world’s largest expat  community with around 4 million members.

It performs best in the Getting Settled (8th) and Urban Work Life (11th) Indices, as expats are happy with their local career opportunities and work-life balance.

While it ranks at an average 36th place in the Quality of Urban Living Index, it lands among the bottom 10 in the Finance & Housing (57th) and Local Cost of Living (60th) Indices.

The Expat City Ranking is based on the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations, which is one of the most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, with more than 15,000 respondents in 2020.

This year, 66 cities around the globe are analyzed in the survey, which offers in-depth information about five areas of expat life: Quality of Urban Living, Getting Settled, Urban Work Life, Finance & Housing, and Local Cost of Living.

Together, the first four topics make up the Expat City Ranking, which reveals the best and worst cities for expats to live in. As the data was collected in March 2020, just before COVID-19 turned into a global pandemic, one question, however, remains: Will these cities still come out on top in a post- COVID world?

Auckland ranks 22nd out of 66 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2020, ending up in both the top 10 and the bottom 10 cities worldwide, depending on the topic. It performs best in the Getting Settled Index (8th): most expats are happy with the friendliness of the locals, both in general (81 per cent vs. 68 per cent globally) and towards foreign residents in particular (78 per cent vs. 66 per cent globally).

Additionally, Auckland comes 12th in the Feeling Welcome subcategory, with 78 per cent of expats finding it easy to get used to the local culture (vs. 61 per cent globally). An expat from France says that “people are  open-minded and easy-going”.

The city also performs well in the Urban Work Life Index (11th): Expats are not only really happy with their work-life balance (79 per cent vs. 64 per cent globally), but also with the local career opportunities (62 per cent vs. 43 per cent globally) and their job security (63 per cent vs. 59 per cent globally).

However, all of these benefits seem to come at a high price: Auckland does very poorly in the Finance & Housing (57th) and the Local Cost of Living (60th) Indices.

More than one in four survey respondents (26 per cent) are dissatisfied with their financial situation (vs. 21 per cent globally), and 69 per cent rate the local cost of living negatively (vs. 46 per cent globally).

Moreover, the city also ranks 52nd in the Housing subcategory, with 74 per cent of expats saying that housing is unaffordable (vs. 41 per cent globally).

A Venezuelan expat says that the “housing prices and living costs are very expensive”.

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