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Dublin enters the top ten most liveable cities for Europeans

  • Dublin re-enters the top 10 most liveable cities in the world thanks to improved infrastructure, personal safety and healthcare in recent years
  • The Irish capital is now on par with northern European cities, Gothenburg and Luxembourg, offering superior living conditions 
  • Dublin is 23rd most liveable location for Asian expats – beating many Asian cities including Hong Kong
  • Canada remains most liveable non-European country for Europeans

Dublin has re-entered the top ten most liveable cities, becoming one of the most attractive cities in Europe for European expats. Cities around the world are evaluated annually by ECA International (ECA) on a variety of liveability factors including availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; climate; personal safety; political tensions and air quality. 

ECA’s annual Location Ratings survey has followed Dublin’s steady rise in recent years as liveability in Ireland’s capital started to become one of the most desirable in Europe, and indeed, the world. This year Dublin re-entered the top ten in joint ninth place with Gothenburg and Luxembourg, offering the most superior living conditions for European expats. Dublin also came in at 23rd place for Asians expats, beating many Asian locations including Hong Kong, which is 41st.

“Dublin has seen a return to the top ten after dropping out in 2017 due to a shortage of suitable housing for expatriates in the city. However, our research reveals a general opinion from the expat community that they feel safer in Dublin after dark, which has improved the city’s personal security score this year,” said Neil Ashman, Senior Location Ratings Analyst at ECA International, global mobility experts.

“Dublin has a strong international expat community, which is why it also scores well for Asian expats versus cities such as Hong Kong that suffered disruption and considerable damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut in September,” explained Ashman.

ECA's Location Ratings system objectively evaluates a host of factors to form an assessment of the overall quality of living in over 480 locations worldwide. The system helps companies establish appropriate allowances to compensate employees for the adjustment required when going on international assignment. The impact of some of the factors assessed will vary according to the home location of the assignee.

Northern European cities continue to dominate the top of the rankings

Alongside Dublin, cities in northern European and Scandinavian nations once again dominate the top of the liveability rankings. Copenhagen in Denmark and Bern in Switzerland offer the best liveability standards for European expats, scoring at the top of ECA’s ranking for over seven years. Alongside Dublin, cities in northern European and Scandinavian nations once again dominate the top ten most liveable locations for European expats. The Netherlands and Switzerland each have three cities within the top ten.

Ashman said: “Cities in Scandinavia, Switzerland and the Netherlands have offered good liveability across the board for many years now; with factors such as excellent infrastructure, reliable transport systems, and a high level of healthcare all contributing to their consistently excellent liveability score.”

Canada most attractive country outside Europe for Europeans

The most liveable non-European location for European expats is Toronto, Canada. Canadian cities in general all score very well, with Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal all scoring higher than Belfast, London and Glasgow in the UK.

“Canadian cities have always featured high up in the rankings for European expatriates thanks to low crime levels, good public facilities, and little air pollution. The only anomaly to this was in 2017 when Montreal briefly dropped in the rankings following severe flooding. The city has since recovered well since the floods and risen five places in the latest survey, essentially returning to its original position,” explained Ashman.

Australia and New Zealand also score highly for European expats

Canberra and Wellington also offer high liveability standards for Europeans, making 40th and 45th place respectively; higher than some UK cities. All of the Australian and New Zealand locations included in the rankings feature in the top 100.

Ashman said: “Despite the long travel distances from Europe, which impacts the external isolation score for Europeans away from home, it is no surprise to see the majority of these cities in the top 50. Cities in Australia and New Zealand have always scored well, with low crime, efficient transport services and a range of available housing just some of the attractions.”

Singapore top Asian city for European expats 

Singapore is the most liveable Asian location for European expatriates and the only one that makes it into the top 100. 

Ashman said: “Asian cities tend not to feature so highly for European expats due to significant differences in climate and language. However, a number of factors make Singapore the most liveable Asian location for European expats including the large European expat communities already living in Singapore - something which makes it a lot easier for expats to adapt and suitably acclimatise to their new surroundings.”

Top 20 most liveable locations for European expatriates
Location
2019 ranking
2018 ranking
Copenhagen, Denmark
1
=1
Bern, Switzerland
1
=1
The Hague, Netherlands
3
3
Geneva, Switzerland
3
=4
Stavanger, Norway
5
=4
Amsterdam, Netherlands
6
=6
Eindhoven, Netherlands
6
=6
Basel, Switzerland
6
=6
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
9
=9
Gothenburg, Sweden
9
=9
Dublin, Irish Republic
9
=11
Aarhus, Denmark
12
=11
Rotterdam, Netherlands
12
=11
Zurich, Switzerland
14
14
Bonn, Germany
15
=15
Munich, Germany
15
=15
Vienna, Austria
17
=17
Hamburg, Germany
17
=17
Stockholm, Sweden
19
=19
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
19
=19
 
-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

About ECA International 

ECA International is the market-leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.

Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully-integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.

We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions – every time.

ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

About ECA’s Location Ratings

Updated annually, ECA International's Location Ratings system measures the quality of expatriate living conditions in over 480 locations around the world to arrive at a fair and consistent assessment of the level of difficulty the expatriate will experience in adapting to a new location. Factors evaluated include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions and air quality.

For further information, please contact:

Jack Firth 
Tel: +44 0 20 7351 5000
Email: Jack.Firth@eca-international.com

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