Athens Ranked Second Least Liveable City in Europe

Athens Ranked Second Least Liveable City in the World, Zurich Tops Europe's Most Liveable List

Athens Ranked Second Least Liveable City in Europe, Zurich Tops Europe's Most Liveable List

A recent report by the European Commission has identified Athens as the second least liveable city in Europe. This finding comes as part of the sixth survey on the quality of life of European cities, covering 83 cities across the EU, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, the United Kingdom, the western Balkans, and Turkey.

Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, highlighted three key lessons drawn from the report. Firstly, the importance of opportunities, particularly high-quality job prospects, in determining overall satisfaction. Secondly, the crucial role of public services and administration, emphasising the significance of mobility, congestion, and effective town planning. Lastly, the report underlines the higher quality of life experienced in small and medium-sized cities, emphasising safety, cleanliness, and reduced noise levels as important factors.

Despite the overall decline in satisfaction levels compared to 2019, Zurich emerged as Europe's most liveable city, scoring high in various aspects such as job satisfaction, public transport, healthcare services, air quality, and financial situations. On the contrary, Palermo in Sicily ranked as the least liveable city in Europe, with lower satisfaction levels, particularly concerning housing affordability, green spaces, and healthcare services.

The top ten most liveable cities in Europe include Zurich, Copenhagen, Groningen, Gdańsk, Leipzig, Stockholm, Geneva, Rostock, Cluj-Napoca, and Braga.

Conversely, the bottom ten cities, alongside Athens and Palermo, include Istanbul, Tirana, Naples, Belgrade, Rome, Skopje, Miskolc, and Podgorica.

Report Findings

Level of Overall Satisfaction of Living: Low in Athens and High in Heraklion

The two Greek cities in the survey scored below the overall average, with the lowest percentage found in Athens (65 %) and the highest in Heraklion, where 81 % of the residents are satisfied with living in their city.

Among the 83 cities included in the survey, Zürich (CH) is ranked first, with around 97 % of residents satisfied with living in their city. Copenhagen (DK) and Groningen (NL) are close behind, with around 96 % of residents satisfied with life in their cities. Only 65 % of people living in Istanbul are satisfied with living in their city,

Bottom 10: Athens ranked low for LGBTIQ inclusivity

Athens is listed in the bottom 10 of cities surveyed, with less than half the people thinking that their city is a good place for LGBTIQ people to live.

Bottom 10: Athens ranked low as a good place for older people to live

Just over half the residents in Athens think that their city is a good place for the older people to live, placing it in the list of bottom 10 cities in Europe.

Bottom 10: Athens ranked low as a good place for families with young children to live

Non-capital cities are seen as better for families with young children than capital cities. In Cardiff (UK), Oulu (FI), Braga (PT) and Leipzig (DE) at least 95 % of residents think that their city is a good place for families with young children to live. In contrast Athens (61%) is in the bottom half of the distribution.

Bottom 10: People don’t feel safe in Athens

Only 42% of people feel safe walking alone at night in the city placing it second from the bottom on the bottom ten cities.

Bottom 10: Athens and Heraklion ranked low for job prospects and household financial satisfaction

Only 21% of people in Athens think it is easy to find a good job, placing the city in the bottom ten countries of Europe.

Only 37% of people in Heraklion and 39% of people living in Athens are satisfied with the financial situation of their household, placing these two cities at the very bottom of the list of the countries in Europe in terms of satisfaction with financial situation of their household.

Bottom 10: Low confidence in receiving material help in case of need in Heraklion

Only 57% of people in Heraklion felt confident that they will receive material help in case of need, which was the second lowest score in that area of all European cities surveyed.

Bottom 10: Low satisfaction in Athens with cultural facilities and public spaces

Only 63% of Athens residents felt satisfied with cultural facilities in the city, placing the city in the bottom 10 in this area, whilst only 39% of Athens were satisfied with public spaces in the city, placing the city as the least satisfied with public spaces of all the European cities surveyed.

Bottom 10: Low satisfaction with healthcare and cleanliness in Athens

Only 39% of people living in Athens were satisfied when it came to healthcare services, only 28% of people were satisfied with the quality of the air in the city, and 24% satisfied with the level of city cleanliness placing Athens in the bottom ten list of European cities for all of these survey areas also.

Bottom 10: Low satisfaction with public administration in Athens

42% of people in Athens agree that the procedures used by the city’s local public administration are straightforward and easy to understand, top and bottom 10 scores only

Top 10: People in Heraklion are the least lonely

Finally some good news! It seems that residents of Greece are the least likely to feel lonely, with only 8% of people in Heraklion saying they felt loneliness, placing it on the top ten least lonely cities of Europe for that criteria.

The report's insights provides guidance for policymakers at various levels, aiding in the formulation of strategies for cohesive urban development and improved living conditions across Europe. Addressing challenges highlighted in the report, such as housing affordability, public services, and quality of life disparities among cities, remains important for fostering inclusive and sustainable urban environments.

Read also: US President Joe “Bidenopoulos” Hosts a Reception Celebrating Greek Independence Day


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