expat hotspots

Which countries draw the next generation of expats?

You may have considered looking at new job opportunities in new hotspots, or, if you’re an entrepreneur, you may be looking for cities where talent is either available or easy to attract.  

Regardless of the reasons behind your cross-border talent movement during this period being referred to “The Great Talent Migration”, expats all over the world are viewing it a bit differently these days. 

Many cities across the globe have been heavily affected by Covid-19, war and political upheaval, climate crises, and soaring costs of living. However, there are some other cities that have come through and that are emerging as new hot spots for expatriate talent.  

Per this Bloomberg article, “In a world reshaped by infection, invasion, and inflation, a clutch of cities is challenging the old order, luring companies and start-ups to burnish their credentials as a global city.” Let’s check out 6 locations that seem to be emerging as new expat hot spots. 

Kuala Lumpur 

Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL, is often overshadowed by Singapore’s glamourous expat presence, but, in 2021, the city ranked first in a worldwide survey of some 12,000 expats by InterNations, scoring top for housing. Diversity and harmony are real talent attractors in KL and offers a balanced and more economical lifestyle.  

Rio de Janeiro 

Stunning beaches, natural beauty, lively culture, and crazy festivals give Rio its excitement. According to Expat Arrivals, the cost of living will be reasonable and well below that of major expat destinations in Western Europe and North America for those expats earning in a foreign currency. A relaxed lifestyle in a vibrant city is calling many these days. 

Mexico City 

In case you forgot, Mexico topped the global ranking in InterNations’ 2022 Expat Insider ranking of the best countries to live in and Mexico City is attracting global expats in droves. One of the more progressive locations across the Latin America region, this is a city that offers a high level of talent and ambition! 


Okay, well, this one is not really a “new” expat hot spot as it has been a top destination for years, but with the pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine, the location is growing in popularity. Per Expatra, “…the lifestyle locally is exceptionally good, particularly for Western expats who benefit from a largely excellent climate, wonderful leisure facilities, a relatively laid back pace of life and good education and healthcare standards.” 

Bengaluru (Bangalore) 

The city has long been growing into one of the biggest tech hubs in the world and is home to thousands of startups and software firms. It is seen as an increasingly good (or better) option to the Bay Area due to the fact that with “a growing expat community has come international schools, as well as bars and bistros that serve everything from craft beers to pork ribs.” 


Why is one of Europe’s oldest cities so attractive? Per the Bloomberg article, “Lisbon has reinvented itself as a hipster destination, hosting events such as the annual Web Summit and offering a mix of culture, nightlife, and warm weather within easy reach of some of Europe’s most spectacular beaches.” Note that Lisbon Tops Hybrid-Working Ranks for Globetrotting Executives too! 

Final thoughts 

On the whole, as workers continue to re-evaluate and reconsider what they want from life and work, they are also heavily weighing where they can create the kind of life they want for the future. While the above locations may provide both new business opportunities for companies and the ability to recruit key talent to them or new job opportunities for job seekers, other locations are also working hard to attract a growing number of “work from anywhere” players.