World's Best Cities for Introverts

The world’s best cities for introverts in 2022

Cities are known for their hustle and bustle, which can be overwhelming for those who favour solitude over socialising. Even with the world opening up again, some might still prefer a more self-contained lifestyle.

But which city is the best place for those who are more introverted than extroverted, and prefer to fly through life solo?

To find out, we’ve analysed 50 cities and measured them against several metrics that may be important to introverts, including population density, solo leisure activities, the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment, average salary, as well as the number of remote jobs.

Tokyo is crowned the best city for introverts (despite its huge 37 million population) while Zurich is named the worst

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*Metrics include: City Population and Density, Average Salary, Average Wifi Speed, Average Wifi Cost, Average Cost of 1 Bed Apartment (Rent), Average Electricity Costs, Average Cost of a Takeaway, Average Cost of a Cinema Ticket, Average Cost of Netflix, Percentage of Gamers, Number of Walking Trails, Number of Museums, Number of Public Libraries, Number of Theatres, Happiness Index, Number of Remote Jobs

The capital of Japan (Tokyo) takes the crown as the best overall city for introverts. Despite having the highest overall population, in terms of population density it actually ranks tenth with just over 17,000 people per square kilometer. A city known for its beautiful public gardens, it won’t come as a surprise that Tokyo has the highest number of parks and walking trails of all cities analysed (539), more than double London (163) or Paris (171) have to offer. The metropolis also has the most museums and art galleries, perfect for those who want to learn more about the culture, with over 1,100 to choose from.

Sao Paulo in Brazil, a city famously known for being a melting pot of cultures, ranks in second place. The entertainment capital of South America positions fourth for its high gaming population (87%) and third for the number of theatres to enjoy (176).

Bangkok, Thailand is the third-best city for solo living despite having the third-lowest average salary of $557.04 (£423.7) per month and being the second least-friendly place for remote working, with just 250 work-from-home jobs listed. However, the country has the largest gaming community with 94% of internet users playing video games, as well as one of the fastest WiFi speeds with 225.17 Mbps - which is crucial if you’re gaming online.

Out of the 50 cities analysed, Zurich is revealed as the worst location for introverts. This is due to a high cost of living, as well as few solo activities available, such as a low number of public libraries (3), theatres (11) and walking trails and parks (14). Munich, Germany and Dublin follow Zurich at the bottom of the ranking.

The cost to live alone is cheapest in Delhi, with rent costing 161% less than Zurich

Looking at only cost metrics, including the average cost of a one-bedroom flat, basic utilities to support a single lifestyle, the average cost of a Netflix subscription as well as a takeout meal for one, these are the top five most affordable cities:

RankCityCountryAverage Monthly Salary (USD)Average Monthly Cost of 1 Bed Flat (USD)Average Monthly Wifi Cost (USD)Average price of 1KW/h of Electricity (USD)Average Cost of Basic Netflix (USD)Average Cost of 1 Cinema Ticket (USD)Average Cost of a Takeout Meal for 1 (USD)
1DelhiIndia459.31230.169.800.0921.954.553.90
2IstanbulTurkey361.36334.529.170.0711.8414.003.12
3BangkokThailand557.04560.8719.570.1073.007.535.99
4Sao PauloBrazil388.89467.7320.870.0995.126.266.26
5BudapestHungary739.63434.9712.960.1008.785.504.96

The cheapest city for introverts to live in a central location is in Delhi, India. The cost of a one-bedroom apartment is just $230.16 (£175), which is 182% lower than Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, the most expensive place to rent a property of the same size.

Istanbul follows in second where the cost of WiFi is considerably low at just $9.17 (£6.97) per month, a basic streaming subscription costs just $1.84 (£1.40) and the average cost of a takeout meal sits at just over $3.00 (£2.37).

On the other end of the scale, these are the top five cities with the highest cost of living:

RankCityCountryAverage Monthly Salary (USD)Average Monthly Cost of 1 Bed Flat (USD)Average Monthly Wifi Cost (USD)Average price of 1KW/h of Electricity (USD)Average Cost of Basic Netflix (USD)Average Cost of 1 Cinema Ticket (USD)Average Cost of a Takeout Meal for 1 (USD)
1ZurichSwitzerland6,251.202,126.8960.970.2369.7420.5216.20
2New YorkUnited States3,615.613,270.2566.890.1099.9917.5010.00
3Abu DhabiUAE2,841.314,980.8198.540.0777.9010.898.17
4LondonUnited Kingdom2,670.932,285.0540.100.2517.8918.367.87
5San FranciscoUnited States3,615.612,929.1466.890.1099.9915.0010.00

The city with the most expensive cost of living is Zurich in Switzerland, which is reflected in their high average salary of $6,251 (£4,755) per month. Living here, the cost of a solo cinema trip will cost up to $21.00 (£15.60) and a takeout meal will set you back $16.20 (£12.31) on average. Despite these high costs, citizens are the happiest of all cities.

Unsurprisingly, New York City and London both rank highly for expenses with rent for a one bedroom apartment costing up to $3,270 (£2,487) along with electricity bills of up to $787 (£600) per year based on average use. If you enjoy ordering takeout, the cost for a meal for one person is around $10 (£7.60) in New York and $7.87 (£5.98) in London.

If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s that many of us can get by without seeing other human beings. While the cities in the ranking are busy hotspots, there are plenty of cost-effective locations and solo activities to keep your introverted self happy.

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