Poll: The best and worst cities to work and live in

Valencia, Spain.

Valencia, Spain.

Alexander Spatari / Getty images

In which cities in the world is it best to live and work? To answer this question, the Munich company InterNations surveyed more than 15,000 people in their community for its annual Expat Insider Study. In general, expats are people who live or work abroad.

Respondents rated the quality of life, settling in, working in the city, the financial and housing situation, and the cost of living in 66 different cities around the world.

Spanish cities are ahead

The Spanish city of Valencia ranks first in the Expat City Ranking 2020. In particular, the cost of living and medical care and the quality of the environment were rated as outstanding. The Spanish Alicante was also able to convince and made it to second place. Here the sunny climate and the ease of getting used to the city are mentioned as positive factors. Lisbon, Panama City and Singapore follow in 3rd to 5th place.

InterNations GmbH

These cities do the worst

The city of Salmiya in the Arabian Kuwait, on the other hand, is rated as the worst city by expats. The respondents there are dissatisfied with local public transport, health care and the quality of the environment. The opportunities for recreational activities are also insufficient for them.

The popular tourist destination Rome cannot convince either. Only eight percent of the expats surveyed see their career opportunities in the Italian city as positive. The expats do not feel safe there and are also dissatisfied with the economic situation in the Italian capital.

And South Korea’s capital, Seoul, scores just as badly – the city ranks 64th out of 66th. In Seoul, it is difficult to get used to the local area and career opportunities are poor, the expats judged. In the work-life balance category, Seoul even came last.

Here you can see the top 10 and “worst 10”.

The 10 best and worst cities to work and live in

Six major cities in Germany are rated

Expats rate Düsseldorf as the best city in Germany. In an international comparison, the city ranks 26th. In the city on the Rhine, the economic situation is positive and career opportunities are also good. Most expats feel safe there and are satisfied with the medical care. However, the respondents find it a little difficult to get used to the city: Only half of the people of Düsseldorf feel they are friendly to foreign citizens. 40 percent of expats find it difficult to make new friends in Düsseldorf.

Frankfurt am Main ranks 29th in the survey and second within Germany. Seven out of ten expats are satisfied with the career opportunities and also rate the medical care and the environmental quality as positive. But: Even in Frankfurt, the respondents find it difficult to get used to. Only 55 percent of those questioned find the residents generally friendly. “People have prejudices against foreigners,” says an expat from Turkey. “If you don’t speak German very well, you can quickly be discriminated against. And it takes forever to make friends with the locals. “

The city of Hamburg ranks third in Germany and 33rd in an international comparison. Above all, working in the city is rated positively by the respondents. The expats rate the working hours, work-life balance, career opportunities and high quality of life particularly well. But that also has its price: It is generally difficult to find accommodation and living in Hamburg is not affordable for many.

The housing market in particular is rated poorly

Munich offers a high quality of life, but is hardly affordable, according to the expats. The Bavarian capital ranks 41st in the global ranking. The environmental quality is very good here, but it is very difficult to find affordable accommodation.

Berlin is rated below average – and ranks 44th. Although there is a good local transport system and many leisure activities, expats think living in Berlin is difficult. And: In the assessment of the general friendliness of the local population, Berlin even lands in the worst ten. One in three expats describes Berliners as generally unfriendly.

The worst rated German city is Stuttgart. The city does particularly badly in the areas of finance and housing. Four out of five expats find it difficult to find accommodation in Stuttgart and 78 percent consider it to be unaffordable. When it comes to settling in, the city ranks second in the world. Friendliness, social contacts and the language are rated as not good by the expats.


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