Due to the ease of settling and finding housing, expatriates have ranked Kenya’s capital Nairobi as the greatest city to work in on the continent, jumping 50 places from previous year.
Nairobi is ranked 12th out of 57 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2021, with the highest ranking among African cities. It does particularly well in the Getting Settled Index (4th), with nearly three-quarters of expats in Nairobi (78%) describing local folks as generally pleasant (vs. 69%) and 62 percent finding it easy to make new friends (vs. 69%). (vs. 48 percent globally).
“The people are welcoming and friendly,” says an Indian expat, adding that he greatly enjoys his “good social life”.
Nairobi expats agree: 74 percent are satisfied with their social lives, which is 17 percentage points higher than the global average (57 percent ).
Nairobi is also ranked 6th in the world in the Finance & Housing Index, with 82 percent of expats having no difficulty finding housing, compared to 60 percent overall. Furthermore, nearly half of the respondents (49%) consider housing to be inexpensive (vs. 42 percent globally).
While nearly one-fifth of expats worldwide (19%) are unhappy with their financial condition, only 9% of expats in Nairobi are in this predicament. Surprisingly, 42 percent of residents still think the local cost of living is high (compared to 34 percent globally), placing the city 23rd on the Local Cost of Living Index.
Nairobi, on the other hand, ranks in the bottom ten of the Quality of Urban Living Index (50th). The availability (48th) and quality (50th) of medical care are both low points. Furthermore, 55% of people are dissatisfied with public transit (vs. 20 percent globally).
One Dutch immigrant even claims that one of the things he dislikes most about life in Nairobi is the “poor maintenance of local roads.” Nairobi’s (34th) result in the Urban Work Life Index is an odd mix: it ranks 49th in the world for the status of the local economy (30 percent unhappy vs. 19 percent internationally), but 9th for total job satisfaction (73 percent happy vs. 68 percent globally).
The Expat City Ranking is part of InterNations’ Expat Insider Survey and is published alongside the overall survey report, which includes the annual country ranking.
As a result, the Expat Insider survey also asks respondents to offer their thoughts on their current city of residence, such as the public transit system, housing affordability, the state of the local economy, and their social life overseas.