InterNations conducted a survey in 2022 which concluded that Valencia, Spain, is the most popular city for expatriates to live and work abroad.
This was based on sampled responses from 12,009 respondents. InterNations is an online expat community with over 4.5 million members from across the globe.
The survey asked expats to rate their satisfaction in five main areas: quality of life (e.g., a safe environment and efficient public transportation), ease of settling in (e.g., access to affordable health care), working abroad (e.g., job security and a stable local economy), and “expat essentials,” which include digital life, housing options, language, and cultural options.
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain. It was also named the World Design Capital of the Year for its magnificent architectural wonders, which include the City of Arts and Sciences complex and other Unesco World Heritage monuments
Valencia is close to a variety of sandy beaches and has an incandescent night scene thanks to its numerous pubs, cafes and clubs.
According to InterNations founder Malte Zeeck, Valencia is the best city for expatriates because it is “a safe place with an excellent climate, a vibrant nightlife and culture, a pleasant urban environment and great travel opportunities” while being “fairly affordable.”
According to Zeeck, the low cost of living makes the city a particularly attractive location for retirees. It is also quite easy for workers from other EU countries to move to Spain without a visa or work permit.
Spain could become the next major hub for digital nomads moving from outside Europe.
In an effort to promote entrepreneurship and diversify the economy, the Spanish government recently passed the so-called Startup Law, which includes provisions for the creation of a new visa category for digital nomads that will take effect in January 2023.
According to Insider, visa holders are allowed to work in the country for a maximum of five years before they can apply for permanent residency. It’s anticipated that digital nomads will need to earn about €2,000 (about $2,069) per month, derive at least 80% of their income from businesses outside Spain, and must pay a lower income tax of 15% (as opposed to the usual 24%) to qualify.
According to one estimate, there are now about 50 countries that offer visas for digital nomads, including, to name a few, Portugal, Mexico, Croatia, Indonesia, Colombia, South Africa, and Namibia.
Valencia is the city with the happiest expats among the 50 cities studied in the InterNations analysis. There, 85% of expats are content with life in general, compared to 71% of the global average, and 76% of those who work there are satisfied with their work-life balance, compared to 62% of the average.