International Journalism and PR, Limburg

Maastricht worst city for expats in the Netherlands

Each year a network of expats around the world InterNations conducts a survey: Expat Insider Survey to create a list of cities ranking from best to worst for expats to live in around the world. 12.000 expats from 186 countries representing 174 nationalities were asked to rate based on their opinion four aspects of life. These aspects were further subdivided into topics and categories.

  • Quality of Urban Living: Leisure & Climate; Transportation; Safety & Politics; Health & Environment
  • Getting Settled: Local Friendliness; Feeling Welcome; Friends & Socialising; Local Language
  • Urban Work Life: Job & Career; Job Security; Work-Life Balance
  • Finance & Housing: Finance; Housing

For a city to be featured in the Expat City Ranking 2021, a sample size of at least 50 survey participants per city was required. In 2021, 57 cities met this requirement.

This year the top 10 are:

  1. Kuala Lumpur (1st out of 57) receives great ratings for Finance & Housing.
  2. Málaga scores with its climate and leisure options.
  3. Expats find it easy to get settled in Dubai
  4. Sydney
  5. Singapore
  6. Ho Chi Minh City
  7. Prague
  8. Mexico City
  9. Basel
  10. Madrid

As far as the Dutch cities which were surveyed are concerned, Maastricht scored worst and reached the 50th place. As the results of the survey show Maastricht scored worst in the Getting Settled index. Expats complained about the closed Maastricht community. They pointed out that they found it difficult to make friends with locals and they found locals unfriendly. They continued that locals were not open to making new friends beyond their already existing network.

Expats also complained about career opportunities in Maastricht and expensive housing.

The other Dutch cities ranked much better than Maastricht, the Hague 19th place, Rotterdam 28th and Amsterdam 31st.

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