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Cardiff Moves up to 28th Position Globally for European Expatriates


Cardiff occupies 28th position globally this year. It scores exceptionally for housing and infrastructure; with low crime rates, decent medical and educational facilities. Cardiff scores well across all other categories for expatriates adapting to life there, with lower levels of air pollution and crime than larger cities such as London being key reasons why it ranks higher.

It has risen by three places in the global rankings from the perspective of a European expat over the past five years, although this is due to other locations worsening as opposed to Cardiff notably improving in one of our scoring categories.

Updated annually, ECA’s Location Ratings system objectively evaluates a host of factors to form an assessment of the overall quality of living in over 470 locations worldwide. The system helps companies establish appropriate allowances to compensate employees for the adjustment required when going on international assignment. Factors assessed 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.

The impact of some of the factors assessed will vary according to where someone comes from.

“The significance of some of the factors assessed, such as distance from home and differences in culture, language and climate, will vary according to where someone originates from,”explained Ashman.

“For this reason, our analysis considers both the home and destination countries. So, while Copenhagen and Bern rank at the top for Europeans they fall to ninth and 13th respectively for someone coming from Asia. For Asian expatriates, Singapore is the most liveable location. It ranks 95th globally from the perspective of a European assignee.”

Global top 20 – Most liveable locations for European expats

Locations 2017 global rank 2016 global rank 2013 global rank
Copenhagen 1 1 1
Bern 1 1 1
The Hague 3 3 4
Stavanger 4 5 9
Geneva 4 4 5
Basel 6 5 5
Amsterdam 7 8 12
Eindhoven 7 8 9
Luxembourg City 9 5 3
Gothenburg 9 12 12
Antwerp 11 8 5
Dublin 11 8 12
Rotterdam 11 15 19
Zurich 14 18 23
Bonn 15 12 12
Munich 15 12 12
Vienna 17 21 23
Frankfurt 17 15 12
Hamburg 17 15 20
Stockholm 20 22 29
Edinburgh 20 26 27
Cardiff 28 32 31