New Economic Report Can Help You Find Your Dream Expat Life

Asia and the Pacific RimThe Brookings Institution and the London School of Economics and Political Science have just released their Global Metro Monitor report, The Path to Economic Recovery: A Preliminary Overview of 150 Global Metropolitan Economies in the Wake of the Great Recession.

While this information won’t determine where in the world you’ll be happiest as an expat, it can help you figure out where to start looking.

Why? In the wake of what they are calling the Great Recession, Latin American and Asian economies are recovering much faster and more strongly than cities in the US and Europe. If you need to support yourself overseas, high-growth cities offer the best chances of building a successful business or teaching career.

“. . . from 2009 to 2010 . . . of the top 30 ranked metros in this period, a diverse group of 29 was located outside the United States and Europe. China and India alone accounted for 10, Latin America registered seven, and the Middle East and North Africa recorded four. Most of these metros posted annual growth rates of at least 2.5 percent in employment, and five percent in income. . .”

What Does this Mean for Expats?

Keep in mind that these rankings are based on increases in income and employment, not raw numbers. Lima, Peru was the Latin American powerhouse during the recovery period from 2009-2010, but per-capita income is still pretty low.

Metro Areas Where You Could Grow a Business

If you want to set yourself up in business in another country, you should look to the areas that saw fast recovery and good growth.

Here’s a list of the metro areas that suffered the least during the recession and have fully recovered (in alphabetical order):

  • Alexandria, Egypt
  • Bangalore, India
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Beijing, China
  • Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Brasilia, Brazil
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Chennai, India
  • Guangzhou, China
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hyderabad, India
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Kolkata, India
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Lima, Peru
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Mumbai, India
  • New Delhi, India
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • San Antonio, TX USA
  • Santiago, Chile
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Seoul, Korea
  • Shanghai, China
  • Shenzhen, China
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Tianjin, China
  • Warsaw, Poland

Notice there’s only one US city — San Antonio, TX — on the list, and one from Europe — Warsaw, Poland.

These cities have made a partial recovery

  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Guadalajara, Mexico
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Monterrey, Mexico
  • Montreal, Canada
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Nagoya, Japan
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Toronto, Canada

Also included in this list are the US cities of Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; Phoenix, AZ; Providence, RI; St. Louis, MO; San Diego, CA; and San Jose, CA.

Top ten metro growth areas during 2009-2010

  1. Istanbul, Turkey
  2. Shenzhen, China
  3. Lima, Peru
  4. Singapore, Singapore
  5. Santiago, Chile
  6. Shanghai, China
  7. Guangzhou, China
  8. Beijing, China
  9. Manila, Philippines
  10. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Teaching English as a Second Language

I don’t think it’s coincidence that many of the cities which show strong income and employment growth are the same places where demand for English teachers is high. If you’re interested in teaching and you want a position where you can actually sock money away, China and Korea are your best bets. You can also find good teaching jobs in other Asian countries.

Plenty of Chinese cities made the top 30 list. Seoul, Korea is not far behind, at #33 and Bangkok, Thailand is at #35.

You can find the entire report here, and summaries and discussion here.

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  1. This is a super informative article, Susanna!

  2. I second Mary–thanks for the info. I really dug San Antonio when I traveled there a few summers ago.

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