Europe’s most liveable locations in 2018

Analysing a range of ‘liveability’ scores for Europeans moving abroad, from air pollution and personal security, to language barriers and isolation, ECA International reveals best and worst cities for European expats.

ECA reveals cities in Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands offer Europeans the best living standards overall.

According to ECA’s annual report, living standards in London do not score as well in comparison. The UK capital features further down in the liveability rankings mainly due to higher air pollution levels and crime rates. Glasgow is the only UK city that scores worse, primarily due to a more limited access to schools offering an international curriculum.

Top 10 most liveable locations for European expatriates

                  Location                  2018 ranking
Copenhagen, Denmark=1
Bern, Switzerland=1
The Hague, Netherlands3
Stavanger, Norway=4
Geneva, Switzerland=4
Amsterdam, Netherlands=6
Eindhoven, Netherlands=6
Basel, Switzerland=6
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg=9
Gothenburg, Sweden=9

“London does not score as well as most other UK locations in our report due to higher levels of crime and air pollution, although this is to be expected for a city of its size,” said Neil Ashman, Senior Location Ratings Analyst at ECA International. “Even so, when compared to other major capital cities in Europe such as Madrid, Berlin, Lisbon and Brussels, we can see that London’s overall living conditions are still slightly worse – with only Rome scoring lower. However, London is still relatively high in the rankings and scores very well in areas such as recreation and the quality of healthcare, so there are still many positives for an expatriate moving to the UK’s capital city.”

London harder for expats to adapt to due to air pollution and personal security
Although Berlin’s scores for natural phenomena and language limitations are worse than London’s, crime is considered somewhat less of an issue based on expatriate feedback and external sources. The same goes for Lisbon and Madrid, where although the language barrier is more of an issue, both cities score better for crime.

Eastern European cities tend to be some of the worst-performing European locations, with Belgrade, Sarajevo and Minsk all outside the top 100 in the rankings. However, Chisinau, Moldova is the worst-performing European city on the list at a lowly 198th. The Moldovan capital scores poorly on a range of criteria, including availability of healthcare and international schooling.

Newsletter subscription

Scroll to Top