Scottish cities top UK list for European expats

Edinburgh and Aberdeen have been named as the best cities in the UK for European expats to live in.

The Scottish capital was the only UK city to feature in the global top 20 compiled by global mobility firm ECA International (ECA), coming in at joint 19th place alongside Stockholm in Sweden.

Aberdeen was close behind in the ranking for “liveability”, taking 21st place on the worldwide list.

Neil Ashman, a senior location ratings analyst at ECA, said: “Edinburgh and Aberdeen lead the way for UK cities in terms of liveability due to a range of factors including lower air pollution and a greater level of personal security.

“However, what really makes these two cities outshine others in the UK is the existing expat community.

“This is an important factor in the liveability analysis, as a solid network of expatriates will help newcomers feel less isolated and reduces the anticipated culture shock for workers that relocate from overseas.”

ECA evaluates cities around the world annually on a variety of factors, including the availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; climate; personal safety; political tensions and air quality.

Northern European cities dominate the top of the rankings, with Copenhagen in Denmark and Bern in Switzerland found jointly to offer the best liveability standards for European expats.

The Netherlands (with The Hague, Amsterdam and Eindhoven) and Switzerland (also with Geneva and Basel) each have three cities in the top 10.

Irish capital Dublin re-entered the top 10 for European workers this year, sitting in joint ninth on par with Gothenburg in Sweden and Luxembourg City.

London held steady in the top 50 most liveable locations for European expats, coming in at 49th place.

Mr Ashman said: “Although London has continued to see higher air pollution and crime levels in the past year, the city’s overall liveability score has remained steady, in part due to the improved availability of expatriate-standard housing.

“It is understandable that smaller cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester and Belfast score better in areas that will always pose a challenge for a city as big as London, such air quality and personal security. This is a trend we see repeated throughout the world.”

Meanwhile, the most liveable non-European location for European expats was named as Toronto in Canada.

Canberra in Australia, Wellington in New Zealand and Singapore were also praised in the rankings, which measures the quality of expatriate living conditions in over 480 locations around the world.

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