New survey: Mérida is the 2nd-best place to live in Mexico

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Mérida is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán as well as the largest city on the Yucatán Peninsula in southern Mexico. Photo: Sam Camp / Getty

Mérida was second only to Mexico’s capital for expats and digital nomads, a new best-cities survey concludes.

That means the “White City” scored higher than some better-known locales.

The International Citizens Group survey found Mérida to be both walkable and cycling-friendly. “Excellent, reliable healthcare” and “reasonable cost of living” were a draw. Yucatán’s capital was also the quietest city on the list.

Heat and humidity, of course, was the major drawback. A lack of direct flights to major airport hubs was also cited.

Living in Mérida overall costs 20% less than Mexico City, which was the top-rated place for expats.

The survey heaped praise on Mexico City, where the cost of living is the highest in Mexico but still 40% cheaper than Los Angeles or New York.

“And as the world discovers Mérida, both tourist numbers and real estate prices are increasing,” the survey noted.

Guadalajara — Mexico’s second-largest city — was ranked third. Considered Mexico’s Silicon Valley, Guadalajara has a special appeal to remote tech workers. Great food and nightlife were contrasted with mediocre public transportation and a below-par safety score.

Mexico’s cities were ranked for safety, cost of living, health care, and work options. The five cities listed had the best combined score.

Cosmopolitan, “hard-working” Monterrey and charming, temperate San Miguel — the original expat enclave — rounded out the list, in that order.

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