Inside the Best Cities For Black Women Expats to Live
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of @Enyioma.

Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of @Enyioma.

Inside the Best Cities For Black Women Expats to Live

Jasmine Osby
Jasmine Osby Jul 22, 2022

Back in June, I took my first international trip outside of the US to Belize. It was an amazing experience and, like most people who travel to Caribbean countries, I didn’t want to leave. No, literally I did not want to come back to St. Louis, MO.

There was something inspiring and refreshing about being outside of the states. I felt free and, for the first time ever, I began to wonder what life would be like living in another country permanently. I started to do some research to find destinations that may be better suited for my future as a young, Black, millennial woman looking for something more. 

A quick Google search landed me on an article from a young woman named Candace, a Black ex-pat and travel blogger residing in London. Candace’s list of the nine best cities for Black women to live in led me down a path of discovering some amazing destinations perfect for girls like me looking to work remotely or relocate abroad. 

Here’s a deeper dive into the best cities for Black women ex-pats to live in 2022.

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand


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Candace describes Chiang Mai, Thailand as “one of the best cities for black women to live and be at peace”. The city offers big city amenities at small town prices and with shimmering, ancient temples, beautiful countryside views, and a variety of outdoor activities, this city in northern Thailand has a lot to offer Black women seeking a different life. 

Chiang Mai has a tropical climate all year long, so it’s the perfect place for the ladies seeking to escape the cold weather seasons. Many bazaars and markets can be found throughout the Thai city where unique goods, fresh fruits, and vibrant clothing can be purchased at inexpensive prices. 

More than 300,000 ex-pats live in Chiang Mai and when Candace stayed in the city in the midst of COVID, she was able to easily locate and connect with the Black ex-pat community. When it comes to the cost of living, an ex-pat could live comfortably in Chiang Mai on a budget of $2,000 per month.

2. Oslo, Norway


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Not only is Oslo, Norway one of Europe’s most livable cities, but many ex-pats also say it gives them all the big city vibes they’re looking for without being overcrowded and congested with people. Although Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, many say the level of peace and safety is unmatched. After all, Norway is considered one of the safest countries in the world so it’s a major difference for Black ex-pats relocating from the US. 

One of the biggest things that stood out to me on Candace’s blog was that a lot of Black ex-pats noticed how Scandinavian cities like Oslo lacked embedded systematic racism. When greeted by locals, one Black woman ex-pat noted that they simply viewed her as American instead of identifying her by her race. This is a breath of fresh air for Black women looking for a calm, peaceful place to reside outside of the states.

3. Seoul, South Korea

South Korea is one of the most homogenous societies in the world so if you’re a foreigner, you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in Seoul. However, Candace says the South Korean city is still more welcoming to Black women than a lot of places in the US. 

Seoul is considered the ‘Soul of Asia’ and many travelers come here and fall in love with the city. The city has a large ex-pat community and friendly locals. However, Seoul does have extreme climates during the summer and winter months so be sure to keep that in mind.

4. Panama City, Panama


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I know quite a few millennial and retired Black women who have exited the US and chosen Panama City as their place of refuge. And they all love it! Candace echoes these same sentiments about the city, describing Panama as a place Afro-centric tradition and culture are celebrated and embraced. Sounds like the perfect place for a Black girl ex-pat. 

Ex-pats love Panama City because they have access to stable infrastructure and First World amenities within reach of North America. Many enjoy the leisure of traveling back and forth between the US and Panama because they’re only a short flight away from each other. Panama City also offers access to incredible beach living at a low cost so can get the beach house of your dreams for a lot less than you would in California or Florida.

5. Dubai, UAE


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Although Dubai is in the Middle East, it is one of the most tolerant emirates in the countries for ex-pats and many Black women now call it home. The standard of living is very high here, so this is definitely the place for the bad and bourgeois. 

Crime in Dubai is incredibly low and one Black, woman ex-pat described the level of safety she feels in the country as breathtaking. Dubai is also a great place for American teachers looking to move abroad and many Black women teach throughout the emirate.

6. Singapore

Like Oslo, Norway, Singapore is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. However, it is still one of the best places for Black ex-pats. Singapore is a multicultural Southeast Asian country and has some of the best hospitals in the world. One Black ex-pat said she forgot all about racism while living in Singapore and the country’s rich, diverse culture has a lot to offer.

7. Geneva, Switzerland


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Geneva is one of the most international cities in the world and a little on the pricey side. But it still comes in as one of the best cities for Black women to live in 2022. Switzerland is considered one of the safest and happiest places in the world so it’s no wonder many Black ex-pats decide to call the country home. 

The Swiss city is very eco-friendly and has incredible public transportation. Surrounded by mountains and other beautiful landscapes, Geneva is also a great place for outdoor activities and adventures throughout the year.

8. Hong Kong

With over 10,000 Black ex-pats residing in the city, Hong Kong is a favorite destination for Black women looking for a new place to live. The city is actually the restaurant capital of the world so many people love the incredible Asian cuisine Hong Kong has to offer. 

Hong Kong also has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and there are a lot of options for living quarters. Unfortunately, some people have complained about overcrowding and a lack of space in the Chinese city so that could be an issue if you need your space.

9. London, United Kingdom

London is Candace’s ex-pat destination of choice! She left the US in 2016 and loves the gun control laws and access to other European countries that living in London affords her. Another international city, London has over 8 million people. It’s Europe’s largest city and twice the size of New York. However, the city has a lot of incredible amenities, historic alleys, and culture is woven into its fabric. 

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