Leipzig rated among top 10 best European cities for quality of life

Leipzig rated among top 10 best European cities for quality of life

Seven German cities were included in a new European Commission report on quality of life in the continent’s cities, but only one made it into the top 10, lovely and little-ish Leipzig.

European Commission report: Quality of Life in European Cities 2024

Taking part in one of the largest surveys of its kind, the European Commission asked 70.000 people living in 83 different cities across the continent to rate their quality of life. The report focused on people’s perceptions of the quality of life in their city, from happiness and safety to working life, leisure, public services and more.

The commission said it hoped that the report would reveal what people value when it comes to life in each city, and serve as a guide to governments as to how they can improve conditions in urban areas.

Happiness is on the decline across the continent

In the sixth iteration of the report, the European Union Commission noted that while general satisfaction remains high continent-wide, overall quality of life has declined in Europe since the last survey in 2019.

The report explained that the COVID pandemic presented major economic challenges for European cities, “plac[ing] immense stress on urban infrastructure, healthcare systems, economies and social dynamics”. Despite these challenges, however, nine in 10 Europeans reported being satisfied with life in their city.

German city with the highest quality of life: Leipzig

Coming in fifth place behind Zurich, Copenhagen, Groningen and Gdańsk, the population of Leipzig declared a 95 percent satisfaction rate with the quality of life in their city, which is the largest in Saxony.

People living in Leipzig said that their city was an excellent place for families, they feel that they can trust their fellow inhabitants, and in comparison to all of the other German cities included in the survey - Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Rostock, Dortmund and Essen - Leipzigers said that it is easy to find affordable housing. However, with the worst housing shortage in 20 years affecting the whole of Germany, only just over 50 percent of Leipzigers said that it was easy to find somewhere affordable to live.

When it comes to leisure, Leipzig was also in the top 10 cities in Europe for inhabitants’ satisfaction with local air quality, and of the seven German cities considered, Munich and Leipzig locals were the most satisfied with their public spaces. 85 percent of Leipzigers and around 90 percent of Müncheners were satisfied in this regard. Time to move to Leipzig?

How did Berlin fare for quality of life today?

Not known for their optimism or forgiving nature, Berliners ranked their own city - or rather the management of it - rather poorly in comparison to those in Leipzig. Perhaps the most striking finding was Berliners’ overall attitude towards the way their city has changed in the past decade.

Once the capital of cheap housing, cheap Döner and a party scene even more unbridled than the one that exists today, the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have set up shop in Berlin in the past five years, a transition that many subscribing to an endless list of alternative lifestyles see as the beginning of the end for Germany’s artists’ paradise. Just 18 percent of Berliners said that the quality of life had improved in the past five years.

But one area of life where Berliners are happy is in their work. 83 percent of locals told the survey that they were satisfied with their personal job situation, bringing Berlin into the top 10 European cities in this regard. Those in Dortmund were equally happy with their work as those in Berlin, but both German cities were eclipsed by Rostock, where 85 percent of respondents said they were happy in their current job, making the coastal city in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern the best in Europe for job satisfaction.

Looking at attitudes towards marginalised groups, specifically migrants, LGBT+ people and older people, the study concluded that non-capital cities made the most welcoming homes for groups who are less likely to have a broad support network. But one example of how this social isolation can be countered was provided with a study spotlight on Berlin’s Stadtteilmutter Neukölln.

Set up 20 years ago, Stadtteilmutter Neukölln initially trained 12 Turkish-speaking mothers to provide information, support and integration services to new mothers in the district. As of 2022, the organisation has trained almost 500 members.

For more information about the EU report, please visit the official website.

Thumb image credit: uslatar /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



Leave a comment