Nomad List has interesting data on cost of living and quality of life by a variety of measures for cities around the world.
You can search just on cost of living, best cities if you’re a single guy (or girl), cheapest, safest (for women), and where you can make the most on Airbnb.
I like their list of best cities to work from home which they call their digital nomad list based on “internet speed, cost of living, weather and fun.”
The neat thing is you can filter by your own criteria like beach or snow, cold or hot, and how friendly a city is to same sex couples.
Here are their top 5:
It’s unsurprising to see 4 of the top 5 in Asia. Berlin makes the list, it’s been super trendy for years.
Going off of pure cost of living, most of the cities cluster in India with a smattering of Pakistan, Egypt, and a variety of places most US residents wouldn’t want to travel let alone live.
I wouldn’t have expected Medellín to make the top 10, but it’s a city that gets a bad wrap in the collective American consciousness based on an outdated narrative. Homicides are down 95%.
There are 5 US cities which make their top 50. Seeing the highest ranked one makes me question the overall methodology (familiarity bias).
I certainly wouldn’t want to live on the Strip, but living in Las Vegas not the strip doesn’t seem particularly appealing to me either. Then again I’ve only ever been a tourist there, a conference-goer, or flown in for business meetings.
I think that quality of food (and housing) should matter. Tax rates probably matter, too, maybe that helps Vegas. And if you’re going to put together a list of the best cities to work from home — and move there — then it’s hard to do the analysis without incorporating immigration rules.
And of course Provo, Utah has come a long way but for me I’ll always anchor my expectations to Chevy Chase’s Fletch. Plus I don’t want to live near a Delta hub. Indeed for me the biggest issue would be requiring connectivity by air. Chiang Mai is a great city, but only Bangkok really hits the mark at the top of this list.
If you could live anywhere in the world, unconstrained by the location of your family or your job, where would it be?