Four Spanish cities among the ten best cities in the world to live in
11/26/2020 |

​​​​Plaza de la Virgen in Valencia. EFE/Biel Aliño

Valencia stands in first place in the Expat City Ranking of InterNations, Alicante in second place, Malaga in sixth place and Madrid in ninth place
The quality of life is seen from abroad as one of Spain’s greatest strengths. So much so that four of the ten best cities to live in are Spanish. This is reflected in the latest Expat City Ranking, the study published by InterNations this week that contains the opinions of thousands of people on living and working abroad.

In 2020, Valencia is ranked in first place in the global ranking, followed by Alicante, in second place, Malaga, in sixth place and Madrid in ninth place. For its part, Barcelona is also placed in the InterNations ranking, standing in 25th place out of 66 countries on the list. Another city on the Iberian Peninsula – Lisbon – stood in third place, in a top 10 that is completed by Panama City (4th), Singapore (5th), Buenos Aires (7th), Kuala Lumpur (8th) and Abu Dhabi (10th).

The Quality of Urban Life Index and the Getting Settled Index are the two categories of the study where Spanish cities score the highest, which include such characteristics as leisure, well-being and the integrating nature of their inhabitants.

Valencia, in addition to on the global ranking, also achieves first place in the Quality of Urban Life Index, scoring the highest in the sections of leisure and climate, and of health and environment. For its part, Alicante heads up the category in the Getting Settled Index, followed by Malaga, which is rated as the most integrating city where it is easiest to socialise and make friends – two of the traits that this index assesses.

Those surveyed also place Valencia, Alicante and Malaga among the best cities in the Finance & Housing Index, ranked in the first three positions, respectively, in the assessment of the local cost of living.

The city of Alicante ranks 2nd

The areas in which Spanish cities scored the lowest in the ranking include employment – a category in which none of the five cities present in the ranking managed to score in the top half.

Salmiya (Kuwait), Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg (South Africa), Rome and Mexico City are at the foot of the InterNations ranking, which was drawn up from surveys conducted in the spring of 2020 from among 15,000 participants of 173 nationalities that live in 182 territories from all around the world.

A great country to live in

The InterNations ranking comes on top of other indexes and studies that place Spain as one of the best countries with the highest quality of life, both for Spaniards and for those who decide to move here to live, study or work in some of our cities.

The BestCities ranking, published in recent months, places Barcelona and Madrid in 8th and 10th place, respectively, in its list of the best 100 cities in the world. The index considers the capital of Catalonia to be “an almost ideal European city”, with a good climate all year round and a noteworthy urban, artistic and natural landscape. As regards Madrid, which was placed in the top 10 of the ranking for the first time in 2020, BestCities highlights its museum heritage and its capacity for reinvention focused on people. For its part, Valencia stands in 69th position in this list.

The British insurance company CIA Landlord ranked Madrid, just a few months ago, as the best city in Europe in which to work remotely, a form of work that has been employed more than ever due to the coronavirus. Among 25 other cities on the continent, the Spanish capital has achieved first place thanks to the convenience of its transport system, affordable cost of living and wide variety of things to do and see, although rental costs are high.

Without forgetting the 2019 HSBC ranking (Expat Explorer Survey), which placed Spain as the 4th best country in the world to live and work in, behind only Switzerland, Singapore and Canada. Having risen by 14 places on the previous year’s ranking, our country stands in second place as the best destination in terms of quality of life and as the foreign country to relocate to with children.