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Expats say Nairobi is best city to settle in Africa


Expatriates have singled out Kenyan capital Nairobi as the best city to settle in Africa, according to  Expat City Ranking 2021 report. Globally, Nairobi ranks 12th out of 57 cities surveyed.

The Kenyan capital does especially well in the Getting Settled Index (4th): nearly four in five expats in Nairobi (78%) describe the local residents as generally friendly (vs. 69% globally), and 62% find it easy to make new friends (vs. 48% globally).

“The people are welcoming and friendly,” says an Indian expat, adding that he greatly enjoys his “good social
life”. Expats in Nairobi agree: 74% are happy with their social life, 17 percentage points more
than the global average (57%).

Nairobi also lands among the global top 10 in the Finance & Housing Index (6th): 82% of expats have no trouble finding housing, compared to 60% globally. Additionally, close to half the respondents (49%) find housing affordable (vs. 42% globally). And while nearly one in five expats globally (19%) are dissatisfied with their financial situation, this is only the case for 9% of expats in Nairobi.

Interestingly, 42% still rate the local cost of living negatively (vs. 34% globally), ranking the city 23rd in the Local Cost of Living Index. However, Nairobi ends up in the bottom 10 in the Quality of Urban Living Index (50th).
The availability (48th) and quality of medical care (50th) are particular lowlights. In addition, 55% are unhappy with the public transportation system (vs. 20% globally).

A Dutch expat even says that the “poor maintenance of local roads” is one of the things he dislikes most about life in Nairobi. Nairobi’s performance in the Urban Work Life Index (34th) is an interesting mix: the city ranks 49th worldwide for the state of the local economy (30% unhappy vs. 19% globally) but 9th for overall job satisfaction (73% happy vs. 68% globally).

In 2021, according to the report Taiwan, Mexico, and Costa Rica are the best expat destinations worldwide: all of them attract expats with their ease of settling in and good personal finances.

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