Looking to move to an affordable city at some point in the future, perhaps when the COVID-19 pandemic dies down? Then you need to give serious consideration to Ho Chi Minh City, with Vietnam’s southern metropolis topping a recent listing of world’s cheapest cities for American expats.
Run by InterNations, the largest global expat network, the survey polled people living and working abroad in major cities around the world about their costs of living, how expats felt about their financial situation in general and what they thought of their city’s housing availability. The website then ranked 82 cities with a minimum of 50 respondents according to how positively they felt about these factors, and it had Saigon coming out on top for the second year running, with Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok rounding out the top three.
The survey found that the average expat rents a one-bedroom apartment in Ho Chi Minh City for $560.86, while other monthly costs of living in the city amount to $462.62 per person. More than three quarters of foreigners currently living in Saigon say they are happy with their living standards and their financial conditions, which is far above the global average of 57 percent.
Business Insider, an American financial news website, commented on the findings by pointing out that in cities across the United States, “rents under $1,000 per month have become almost unheard of.” The website also added that “Ho Chi Minh City offers the bustle of a vibrant city without the high price tag you might find in the U.S.”
InterNations is the biggest international community for people who live and work abroad, with 4 million registered members, and it is present in 420 cities worldwide. Here are its top ten major cities in the world, ranked with respect to what they offer to American expats in terms of affordable living and housing:
1. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Bangkok, Thailand
4. Taipei, Taiwan
5. Panama City, Panama
6. Mexico City, Mexico
7. Budapest, Hungary
8. Montreal, Canada
9. Doha, Qatar
10. Bogota, Colombia