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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Vancouver: Where Expats Struggle Most with Their Finances

A great natural environment and favorable working hours can’t make up for Vancouver’s biggest pain points: finances and housing!

Vancouver comes 47th out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023 — and it’s the place where expats feel unhappiest (49th). A shocking 35% aren’t satisfied with their social life (vs. 25% globally), and 39% don’t have a personal support network (vs. 24% globally). Close to three in five (59%) also say it’s hard to make local friends (vs. 36% globally), leaving Vancouver in the bottom 10 of the Ease of Settling In Index (42nd).

Apart from feeling lonely, expats also struggle immensely with their Personal Finance (49th), where Vancouver ranks last. Over four in five (84%) find the general cost of living too high — well over twice the global average (35%). And almost half (49%) say that their disposable household income is not enough to lead a comfortable life (vs. 27% globally). In addition, expats feel they’re not paid fairly for their work (44th). Apart from another bottom 10 ranking for its local job market (40th), Vancouver at least shows some highlights in the Working Abroad Index (27th), ranking 3rd for working hours and 15th for work-life balance.

Vancouver also shows ups and downs in the Expat Essentials Index (28th). While learning the local language (6th) and opening a local bank account (4th) are easy, Housing (46th) poses huge problems. Nearly nine in ten (86%) find housing unaffordable (vs. 42% globally). And 65% say it’s difficult to find (vs. 31% globally). Expats appreciate Vancouver’s natural environment (6th), its air quality (9th), and the availability of green goods and services (9th). But its bad results for culture and nightlife (49th), the availability (47th) and quality (41st) of medical care, and missing travel opportunities (47th) place Vancouver in the bottom third (36th) for Quality of Life.

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