London is only the 68th best place in the world to live as an expat, according to a benchmark report by networking group InterNations.
The survey shows that expats, defined as those who live abroad on corporate assignment, find London one of the worst cities in the world for affordability and cost of living. The only thing they like is the ability to earn more than they would in their home country.
But that’s not enough to offset the high cost of living. One Spanish expat said that there are “so many things to do but the price of things is really hard.” Only 67% of expats say their disposable household income is more than enough to cover their daily expenses.
Every year, InterNations puts together the Expat Insider report representing the views of their 3.3m members. For their 2018 edition they surveyed more than 18,000 expats, of 178 nationalities, living in 187 countries or territories.
The survey is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in understanding where expats most like to live. Respondents rate 25 different aspects of urban life — everything from income and housing to feeling settled.
Since the survey required a sample size of at least 45 participants per city, this led to a final ranking of 72 cities across 47 different countries in 2018. Taipei, in Taiwan, ranked number one in this year’s global list.
Among the other issues expats face when they come to London is the difficulty of making new friends — 46% say it is not easy to make local friends in London, compared to more than a third globally. One French expat said that there are “no real opportunities to make friends with local people.”