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Amsterdam ranks as second best city in world for expat work life

Amsterdam has come in second to Luxembourg as one of the best cities for expats when it comes to work and urban living. This is according to Expat Insider’s 2020 survey

The survey found that when asked, 65% of expats ranked their career prospects positively. This is over 20% higher than the global average, which stands at 43%.

A whopping 90% of expats also said that they were happy about the state of the local economy, a percentage that was far above the global average of 63%.

Another area that the city performed well in was expat’s opinions of public transport and urban environment. Expats in the city gave public transport a high rating, with 94% saying they were satisfied by the city’s transportation infrastructure, again, a figure that is far above the global average (66%). When asked, 86% were satisfied by the urban environment.

The Hague also ranked highly when it comes to expat worklife, ranking in 15th place in this index. The survey found that 88% of expats in the city were happy with the local economy and 50% were happy with their local career opportunities.

27th best European city for expats overall

That being said, while Amsterdam ranked very highly in the above areas, its overall ranking was brought down by its failings when it comes to housing, healthcare and unfortunately, the weather.

The housing market in Amsterdam is ranked at 58th place with 64% of expats claiming that finding accommodation is difficult, a disappointing number when you consider the global average stands at just 27%. When housing is eventually found, only 16% of expats surveyed would describe it as affordable (vs. the global average of 41%).

Healthcare availability in Amsterdam holds the same rank as housing, coming in at 58th place. On top of this, the quality of healthcare received is ranked even lower, at 61%.

Local climate and weather played an equally destructive role in the city’s overall ranking. Amsterdam’s eclectic — but usually somewhat damp — weather was ranked at 64th place.

The city’s mixed reviews have left it sitting comfortably — ranking as the 27th best European city for expats.

The Netherlands remains popular for some

The dislike for the weather amongst expats is understandable. However, the Netherlands in general has proven to be an area of interest for expats in spite of this.

A separate survey carried out by Remitly asked the question “where do people in the world want to live?” The survey took a look at what people from different countries were looking up when they Googled the question “how to move to…”

While Canada and Germany reigned supreme as the countries with the most interest globally, the study found that, in Portugal and Hungary, the Netherlands was the most searched country.

Dutchies in search of warmer weather

Interestingly, unlike many of its European neighbours, the most searched for country in the Netherlands was not Canada, but indeed, Spain. While the Hungarians and Portuguese are not deterred by the Netherlands’ damp weather, it looks like the Dutch are sick of it, and are seeking solitude in a warmer climate.

Are you an expat in the Netherlands? How do you feel about these latest findings? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! 

Feature Image: Kata Pal/Pexels 

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


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