Madrid is best city in Europe for expats, says survey

by Ray Clancy on November 29, 2016

It is well known that British, German and Swedish expats flock to the Spanish coast but new research shows that the country’s capital city Madrid is the top place in the country, in Europe and third in the world.

The only cities that are more popular than Madrid with expats are Melbourne in Australia and Houston in the United States, according to the latest data to be released by the annual InterNations expat survey.

madrid-metropolis-buildingEuropean cities generally do well in the global ranking with Vienna first for the quality of life, Frankfurt best for working abroad and Munich for job security. On the other end of the scale, the expats in Italian cities struggle with the state of the economy and with their personal happiness in general.

Some 93% of expats in Madrid were satisfied with their life abroad, noticeably more than the global average of 78% and the city also got top marks when it comes to making expats feel welcome, ranking first overall.

Some 77% of expats in Madrid feel at home in the local culture and 72% agree that it is easy to settle down in the city. Madrid is also first when it comes to finding friends with 71% making new friends in the Spanish capital compared to a global average of 60%. And when it comes to making local friends only 19% found it challenging, significantly lower than the global average of 36%.

However, despite being the top city in Europe for the ease of settling in, Madrid struggled in the working abroad category, particularly in the job and career and job security subcategories, ranking 30th and 32nd out of 35 destinations, respectively.

The state of the economy is also a concern for those working in Madrid with 43% concerned compared to the global average of 24%. This may also have an impact on how expats in Madrid view their career prospects with 29% rating them negatively.

But expats in Madrid rate their travel opportunities very highly with 88% doing so and 795% rating the city’s medical care as being high quality and affordable.

In the overall global rankings Dusseldorf comes fourth, followed by Singapore, Vienna, Munich, Sydney and Mexico City with Toronto making up the last place in the top 10.

Other European cities also rank highly with Barcelona at 11, Basel 12th, Frankfurt 13, Geneva 14, Berlin 15, Zurich at 16, Amsterdam 18th, Hamburg 19th, the Hague at 21, Brussels 25th, London 27th, Paris 28th, Istanbul 29th, Milan 33rd and Rome at 34.

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