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The most up-and-coming cities in Europe

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Wealth, economic growth, human capital and business environment are key performance indicators to be considered by professionals and entrepreneurs seeking new prospects overseas. If you're looking to move to Europe, Expat.com gives you an insight into the most promising cities according to the LaSalle E-REGI Index 2017.

The most powerful cities

London
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Despite the official announcement of the Brexit for March 23, 2019, London remains a top expat destination, especially for professionals. Even though many financial firms intend to relocate elsewhere in Europe, London – being one of the major economic European powerhouses – remains the biggest job provider in the finance sector. Paris comes second thanks to its impressive human capital and wealth scores, especially since the election of President Emmanuel Macron that significantly reduced political uncertainty.

Ranking third, Stockholm enjoys not only strong economic growth and a good wealth score but also a high human capital. Istanbul comes forth due to its exceptional economic growth potential despite the political turmoil that has disrupted its business environment. Fifth is Dublin which climbs up two places thanks to its wealthy population and fast economic growth. The booming construction sector, as shown by the number of cranes towering Dublin's landscape, along with technology and finance, are the main job pools.

Luxembourg, Munich, Oslo, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, and Malmö also appear among the most performing European cities. It's worth noting that Frankfurt goes up three places to rank 19th thanks to its labour market's stability, followed by Amsterdam which is very likely to become a strong financial base in the light of the Brexit.

The most consistent cities

Brussels
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Thanks to their stability which makes them appealing to foreign investors, London, Paris, Stockholm, and Munich are deemed to be the most consistent European cities. Other smaller cities such as Brussels and Vienna also perform well in terms of investment, as do most German cities except Berlin. Munich and Stuttgart, for instance, have known a significant improvement in terms of wealth, economic growth, and human capital. With economies that are mainly driven by the automotive industry, Munich and Stuttgart stand out when it comes to patents and investment in research and development. Munich also performs well regarding venture capital investments.

While Paris ranks second overall, many French cities such as Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille, Nice, and Bordeau are looked upon as consistent cities. Paris can boast about having the highest human capital in spite of a significant economic growth and employment downturn. However, it comes up first when it comes to patent production, second for the quality of its universities and other higher education institutions, and forth for venture capital investment. While Lyon has a good human capital score, Toulouse stands out for investments in research and development thanks to the presence of the Airbus Group.

On the Dutch side, Amsterdam has the highest score for venture capital investment even though it generates less investment in research and development than other cities such as Eindhoven, Utrecht, and the Arnhem-Nijmegen region. You will perhaps not be surprised to learn that Amsterdam's population has a large number of graduates. Nordic cities such as Stockholm, Copenhagen, Malmö, Helsinki, and Gothenburg have a better wealth and human capital score than most European cities in this ranking.

The most affluent cities

Zurich
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Wealth is the key characteristic for determining the most affluent European cities. Most major Swiss cities are said to be affluent due to their high Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Zurich can also boast about having the highest human capital, with a large part of its population being graduates. Geneva, for its part, stands out in terms of patent production.

A leading investment fund management centre, Luxembourg is also likely to be one of the most affluent European cities, being not only a world-class financial centre, but also the largest captive reinsurance centre in Europe. Luxembourg has also experienced a higher GDP growth than that of the eurozone in the broad sense over the past 18 years, except in 2008.

Climbing from the 48th to the 8th place since 2001, Oslo has known significant improvement due to its wealth, human capital, and growth prospects.

The most aspiring cities

Prague
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Aspiring cities are mainly characterised by their GDP accounting for over 30% of their total score even though they have relatively low human capital, employment, wealth and business environment scores compared to the rest of Europe. One of the few major European cities to have escaped recession during the past decade, Warsaw seems to have the strongest GDP growth prospects. Prague enjoys along with its high human capital a vast economy which is mainly based on technology, international media, and business services. Like Spain, it's labour market's transparency has uplifted its business environment in recent years.

Most Russian cities have experienced a drastic drop in the rankings due to unemployment followed by an unfavourable business environment. However, Moscow and St Petersburg still have a higher human capital than other aspiring cities. It's population's education level, with investments in research and development, and the influx of venture capital greatly contribute to their solid reputation.

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