Basel ranked one of the world’s best cities for expats

Basel ranked one of the world’s best cities for expats

Basel has been named the seventh best city in the world for expats, according to the international networking platform InterNations. The city was ranked highly thanks to strong financial prospects for expats living in Basel, as well as being praised as a safe place to live. 

InterNations Expat City Ranking 2022

InterNations annual ranking has been rating and slating popular expat cities around the world since 2014. The ranking compares cities on the basis of their safety, prosperity, career opportunities, amenities and more, to decide which are the favourites among the expat community. 

In their 2022 survey, InterNations consulted almost 12.000 expats for their thoughts on their adopted cities, with respondents originating from 177 different nations, living in 181 different countries around the world. In total, the survey asked respondents about 56 different aspects of life, on a scale between one and seven. 

These results were then used to create five indices that the Expat City Ranking is made up of: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance, and Expat Essentials. In order to include a city, InterNations requires at least 50 survey participants to rate that city. Therefore in 2022, 50 cities were included in the report. 

Four Swiss cities covered by the ranking

While Basel was the only city to rank in the top 10 expat cities around the world, three other Swiss cities were also ranked by InterNations. Behind Basel came Lausanne in 18th position, Zurich in 20th and Geneva in 34th place. 

According to InterNations, Lausanne scored well in terms of the Quality of Life index, but many expats in the city feel that the cost of living is still too high, despite many describing themselves as receiving a “fair” salary. By comparison, expats in Basel praised the city for its comfortable incomes, with 68 percent of expats surveyed saying that they have “more than enough” disposable income allowing them to live comfortably. 

Zurich "unfriendly" and Geneva "expensive"

Like Lausanne, Zurich also scored highly for Quality of Life, coming third overall in this category. What let Zurich down, though, was its score on the “Ease of Settling Index”, where the city placed last out of the Swiss cities - expats stated that they feel Zurich’s locals are unfriendly towards foreigners, and many said that they didn’t feel welcome and have struggled to make friends. 

Finally, there’s Geneva. Ranking worst out of the Swiss cities, it was Geneva’s cost of living that pushed it to the bottom. The city is ranked as the least affordable in the world, making for stress among many of the expats living there. 31 percent of expats living in Geneva said they feel the cost of living is “extremely high”, which compares to just 8 percent globally. 

The best and worst expat cities in 2022

InterNations ranked many other cities across the world to find out where the best and worst cities are for internationals, too. These are the 10 best cities for expats in 2022, according to the InterNations report:

  • 1. Valencia, Spain
  • 2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • 3. Mexico City, Mexico
  • 4. Lisbon, Portugal
  • 5. Madrid, Spain
  • 6. Bangkok, Thailand
  • 7. Basel, Switzerland
  • 8. Melbourne, Australia
  • 9. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 10. Singapore

According to the report, these cities are the 10 worst for expats:

  • 1. Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 2. Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • 3. Paris, France
  • 4. Istanbul, Turkey
  • 5. Hong Kong, SAR China
  • 6. Hamburg, Germany
  • 7. Milan, Italy
  • 8. Vancouver, Canada
  • 9. Tokyo, Japan
  • 10. Rome, Italy

For the full report, or more information on how InterNations carried out the survey, check out their website

Image: Yuanhao Yang /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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