The annual quality of living survey carried out by human resources consulting firm Mercer compares hundreds of cities around the world, ranking them on factors such as crime, education, healthcare, public services, recreation, housing and personal freedom.
This year, Munich snagged a joint third position (along with Auckland and Vancouver), while Düsseldorf came sixth, followed by Frankfurt at number seven.
Vienna, in neighbouring Austria, topped the ranking for the 10th year running, closely followed by Zurich in second place.
Of the top 10 cities, European cities took eight of the spots. With Berlin in 13th place, Hamburg at 19 and Nuremberg at 23, Germany’s destinations scored highly in the top 25.
Juliane Gruethner, mobility expert at Mercer, told The Local, that Germany was “definitely” a good choice for expats.
“We measure the quality of life in various cities based on the interests of expats,” she said. “From that perspective all the German cities score quite highly when it comes to the economic, social and cultural environment. The medical system in Germany is also very good.”
Gruethner added that the standard of housing in the three top German cities – Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt – was deemed as very good.
She said Munich scored a slightly higher score due to having more “recreation opportunities” when it comes to nightlife and with an outdoor scene close by.
Germany’s international airports also helped push Germany's points up in the survey.
Gruethner added: “There’s pretty good infrastructure for employees in Germany.
“There’s also a lot of international schools.”
Although language is not a factor that it is measured in the ranking, it also plays a role for expats.“People usually speak English especially in the big cities so it’s easy to manoeuver, even if Germany might be perceived as a bit over administrative.”
Strong cultural scene
Munich, in the southern state of Bavaria, has a strong cultural scene and is known for having more of a community feel to it compared to other busy German cities, such as the capital Berlin.
Although prices are high for housing, lots of companies are based there, making it a good place for working.
It also holds the annual beer festival, Oktoberfest, which is loved and visited by tourists throughout the world.
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“Düsseldorf diverse and welcoming'
Thomas Geisel, mayor of Düsseldorf in North Rhine-Westphalia, which ranked sixth in the list, described the city as “diverse and welcoming”.
He told Mercer: “Düsseldorf is a strong and innovative international business location, but at the same time, it’s a comfortable, friendly, tolerant and cosmopolitan city with a certain ease about it.”
Geisel said in the future he wants to see the city “continue to grow and expand its economic success in a socially balanced manner”.
He added that the basis for this is sustainable development policy “which includes affordable housing, attractive job perspectives, a better infrastructure and a continuously high quality of living”.
“Over time, the city will become even more international and attract talent from all over the world, and this will all be supported by a broad political consensus,” he added.
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Frankfurt, in the state of Hesse, is renowned for being the financial capital of Germany but also plays host to a buzzing social scene, including lots of roof top bars.
The Mercer survey is conducted to inform companies on where best to expand offices or relocate staff.
Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s career business said: “Companies looking to expand overseas have a host of considerations when identifying where best to locate staff and new offices.
“The key is relevant, reliable data and standardized measurement, which are essential for employers to make critical decisions, from deciding where to establish offices to determining how to distribute, house and remunerate their global workforces.”
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