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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Málaga: Expats’ Favorite City

Friendly locals, affordable living, and a great quality of life, Málaga seems to have it all.

Málaga places 1st out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023. Respondents also rate it the best city worldwide for Local Friendliness (1st): 89% say that the locals are particularly friendly towards foreign residents (vs. 65% globally). It’s maybe not surprising, then, that the Spanish city also ranks 2nd for Finding Friends.

The Quality of Life Index (2nd) is another highlight for Málaga. It claims first place for its well-known and highly popular climate and weather (1st), and its natural environment (8th) also makes it into the top 10. Luckily, there seem to be a lot of opportunities to enjoy this, as the city ranks 2nd for its Leisure Options. Additionally, Málaga features among the top 10 in the Travel & Transit (8th) and Healthcare (10th) Subcategories.

The city’s lowest (but still above average) index ranking is its 13th place for Working Abroad. On the downside, it ranks 41st for the local job market. But Málaga pulls ahead in the Work & Leisure Subcategory (1st), claiming the top spot for work-life balance (1st). In the Expat Essentials Index (7th), expats are also especially happy with the Housing (6th) situation in Málaga: accommodation is not only easy to find for expats (11th), but also easily affordable (5th). Indeed, the city seems to be a good destination for expats on a budget. It ranks 1st in the Personal Finance Index, where it also tops the list for general cost of living (1st). Overall, 88% of expats are happy with their life in Málaga, compared to 72% globally.

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