European cities have long been favored destinations for expatriates seeking quality of life, cultural richness, and professional opportunities. However, the latest rankings reveal significant shifts among the top contenders, with housing affordability becoming a decisive factor. Bern, Switzerland, continues to lead as the most liveable city, while other popular destinations like Copenhagen and Dublin have seen notable changes in their standings.

Bern: A Consistent Leader in Liveability

Bern, the de facto capital of Switzerland, has clinched the title of the most liveable city in Europe for the third consecutive year. ECA International's comprehensive analysis, which assesses over 500 global locations, underscores Bern's exceptional quality of life. The city's clean air, low crime rates, and top-notch facilities contribute to its appeal for expatriates. Bern's picturesque Old Town and proximity to the Alps further enhance its desirability, making it more than just a favorable statistic.

Copenhagen and Dublin: Facing Housing Challenges

Copenhagen, previously at the top of the list, has slipped to fifth place in the 2023 rankings. Despite its undeniable allure, the Danish capital is grappling with a significant challenge: the scarcity of affordable housing. This issue has slightly dented Copenhagen's reputation as a haven for expats. Similarly, Dublin, once a top ten contender, now finds itself in the 11th spot. The Irish capital's struggle with housing availability, a consequence of its popularity, has impacted its liveability score.

Other European Cities: Mixed Fortunes

Luxembourg and Dusseldorf, like Dublin, have exited the top ten due to similar housing availability issues. Dusseldorf's ranking has also been affected by heightened socio-political tensions, including concerns about terrorism. However, UK cities like Edinburgh and London continue to hold strong positions in the expat rankings. Edinburgh, with its combination of cultural heritage and modern amenities, ranks as the UK's most liveable city, while London's robust infrastructure and vibrant lifestyle keep it stable in the rankings.

The ECA International Ranking Methodology

ECA International's rankings are comprehensive, considering various factors crucial for expatriates. These include access to social networks, recreational facilities, public services, and overall ease of settling in. The assessment provides a detailed understanding of what makes a city attractive to expats, beyond the standard quality of life metrics.

As expatriates continue to seek destinations that offer a harmonious blend of professional opportunities and personal well-being, cities like Bern, Edinburgh, and London stand out for their ability to provide a high quality of life. However, the challenge for popular cities like Copenhagen and Dublin remains to balance their appeal with sustainable living solutions, particularly in the housing sector.

Feb 9, 2024

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