What Are the Top 6 Most Multi-Cultural Cities in the World?

European Day of Languages 2019

With the increasing number of multicultural people living and interacting in one city, cultural diversity is the norm. Gen Z are about to enter the workplace and have grown up with and expect cultural diversity. However, there are certain cities around the world that are considered to be prime examples of cultural hubs. Now that’s a great way to get more for your buck when it comes to your next trip!

These ‘melting pots’ are perfect for those who are bilingual or multilingual, with fantastic job opportunities. Travelers and culture vultures that love languages and connecting with different world perspectives will love these multicultural cities. 

1. New York

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The United States’ most populous city is also the most diverse. A popular song describes New York as a “…concrete jungle where dreams are made of” and nothing betters describe this iconic city. Sure, some people describe NYC as overcrowded and expensive but the city’s charms overpower its idiosyncrasies.

Located on the East Coast of the US, New York is a sprawling metropolis populated by locals and immigrants alike. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs estimated that nearly 40% of the city’s population is foreign born.

Its cultural diversity means that New York’s neighborhoods have played a key role in many different art forms and genres, such as Yiddish theater in the Lower East Side, hip hop and graffiti in the Bronx, pop art in the East Village, the jazz and literature of the Harlem Renaissance, and the continued massive success of the Broadway theatre district.

Now imagine that nearly 50 million tourists visited New York last year, and you really are about to enter one hot cultural spot!

2. Sao Paulo

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Sao Paulo’s multiculturalism came from subsequent waves of immigration that started as early as the late 19th century. Because of this, the city is considered to be the most diverse city not just in Brazil, but in the entire continent of South America.

This multiculturalism is evident in the city’s religious and culinary landscape (with influences from Europe and the Middle East obviously prevalent). Even the neighborhoods themselves are ethnically diverse. Go to the Bela Vista and it’s like as if you’re standing on the streets of Paris. Go to Liberdade and it’ll feel like as if you’re in Japan.

3. Singapore

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What Singapore lacks in size, it makes up for in the cultural diversity that it hosts. A small island nation off the tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, Singapore hosts 1.6 million non-residents (almost 30% of the country’s population). Most of the ethnic groups that live here (apart from those with Chinese origin that make up the majority of the population) include Indians, Eurasians and Malays.

Singapore is so multi-ethnic that it welcomes four official languages: Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English. It also has a very vibrant street food scene, which makes it the perfect place to be, not only for language lovers but also for foodies.

4. Sydney


Often described as “Australia’s New York City,” Sydney is one of the most multicultural metropolitan cities in the world. A whopping 40% of the population comes from abroad. Walk through the streets of Sydney and you’ll find yourself hearing at least 250 languages spoken by a number of immigrants and foreigners.

Sydney is so proud of its multicultural background that it frequently hosts world events and international festivals. Harmony Day is celebrated on March 21, and one on its most popular events is “Living in Harmony”, a city-wide festival that celebrates Sydney’s cultural heterogenic base and lasts nearly a month.

5. Toronto


Toronto is often referred to as the most culturally diverse city in the world. Half of the population is born outside of Canada. This is the most number of non-locals that can be found anywhere.

The neighborhoods in Toronto are look like small-scale assemblies of United Nations. Chinatown, Greektown, Little Italy, Little India, and a number of smaller neighborhoods, are all considered home to various races and ethnic groups. Toronto’s immigrants usually come from Iran, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, China, India, Italy and the Philippines.

6. Dubai


Dubai is not new on the scene when we talk about which city is the most multicultural. Today’s population reveals that 84% consists of expatriates. With more than 200 nationalities, the UAE is home to thriving expatriate communities, with tourism as one of its key economic drivers. As projected, Dubai will remain the biggest city in 2030, reaching to a population of 10.6 million.

Dubai will host Expo 2020, projected to bring over 25 million people to the city. The theme of Expo 2020 Dubai is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, which underpins their belief that sharing one’s own culture is an essential step to understanding new ones.

There are more cities that are also among the most diverse in the world. However, in our view, these six cities come top for multiculturalism. They are the ideal go-to places where individuals can find folks who are willing to share cultures, languages, cuisine, beliefs and celebrations.

Join in the spirit of multiculturalism – a few words means new worlds with our world languages. #globalgoals


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Sue Brett
By Sue Brett

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