The best Dutch city for expats is not Amsterdam

The best Dutch city for expats is not Amsterdam

It may be the most obvious city, most likely because it is the capital of the Netherlands, but Amsterdam is not the best city for expats. According to the InterNations Expat City Ranking 2018, The Hague takes the crown when it comes to cities in the Netherlands.

Expat Insider 2018 & InterNations Expat City Ranking 2018

In order to produce this year’s InterNations Expat City Ranking, the Expat Insider 2018 survey was conducted. This survey was completed by 18.135 expats, living in 187 countries or territories and representing 178 nationalities. Expats participating in the survey rated almost 50 factors regarding life abroad on a scale from one to seven.

These factors fell under subcategories belonging to the major categories of quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, family life and personal finance. The average of these categories, plus the answer to the question “How satisfied are you with life abroad in general?” form the overall ranking score for a country in the Expat Insider 2018 ranking, which includes 68 countries.

The Expat Insider 2018 survey was further used to create the Expat City Ranking 2018, utilising 25 factors in the survey related to urban life. The Expat City Ranking 2018 focuses on the quality of urban living, urban work life, getting settled, finance and housing.

For this ranking, responses from 11.966 expats, living in 55 countries were used; however, due to sample size requirements, only 47 countries and 72 cities are included in the ranking.

Best city for expats in the Netherlands

In terms of top expat destinations, the Netherlands ranks 16th on the Expat Insider 2018. When we dive deeper into the country’s results to see the popularity of certain cities, The Hague comes out on top, taking 11th place on the Expat City Ranking 2018. Amsterdam and Rotterdam follow behind at 13th and 17th place respectively.

According to the ranking, The Hague performs very well on the subcategory work-life balance, taking 3rd place with 84 percent of expats satisfied with their work-life balance. The City of Peace and Justice also scored impressively when it comes to job satisfaction, with 73 percent of expats reporting being content with their jobs, much higher than the global average of 65 percent.

Another subcategory in which The Hague outperforms Amsterdam and Rotterdam is local friendliness, with expats finding the local population friendly and welcoming. Whilst the population is friendly, one expat remarked that locals are not willing to establish real friendships.

Best cities for expats around the world

According to the 2018 ranking, the following are the best 10 cities in the world for expats.

  1. Taipei, Taiwan
  2. Singapore, Singapore
  3. Manama, Bahrain
  4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  5. Bangkok, Thailand
  6. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  7. Aachen, Germany
  8. Prague, Czech Republic
  9. Madrid, Spain
  10. Muscat, Oman

For more information, please see the InterNations website.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

Read more



Leave a comment

Brian Fenech 09:54 | 29 November 2018

Oh you’re hilarious *cough* not!!