Dublin Is a Great Place for Work, but Not So Much for Living
Dublin ranks 37th out of 50 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2022, performing worst in the Quality of Life Index (47th). Expats vote the city last worldwide in the Health & Well-Being Subcategory (50th) and for three of the four related rating factors: they are unhappy with the availability of healthcare (38% vs. 13% globally), the ease of accessing all necessary healthcare services (40% vs. 17% unhappy), and the quality of medical care (42% vs. 14% globally). “It is impossible to access primary healthcare. You cannot even get registered with a general doctor,” shares a Spanish expat. Additionally, healthcare is considered unaffordable (49% unhappy vs. 21% globally).
Getting around is another major issue for expats in Dublin. The city ranks among the bottom 5 in the Travel & Transit Subcategory (46th). Expats struggle with the affordability (27% unhappy vs. 15% globally) and the availability (26% vs. 17% globally) of public transportation. About one in five (19%) feel that it is unsafe to get around by foot or by bicycle (vs. 13% globally), and 20% are unhappy with the infrastructure for cars (vs. 13% globally). Leisure options are also quite limited: expats rank the city 46th for the culinary variety and dining options, and 48th for the opportunities for recreational sports.
On the positive side, Dublin comes second globally in the Working Abroad Index, only beaten by Copenhagen (1st). It ranks among the top 10 in all subcategories. Expats are especially pleased with the Career Prospects Subcategory (2nd): they rate the local job market (77% happy vs. 47% globally) and their personal career opportunities (72% vs. 58% globally) positively. “There are a lot of job opportunities for foreigners due to the international companies in Dublin,” a Dutch expat explains. In fact, 78% say that moving to Dublin has improved their career prospects (vs. 60% globally).
Dublin also excels in the Work & Leisure Subcategory (3rd). Expats are happy with their working hours (78% happy vs. 63% globally) and work-life balance (74% vs. 62% globally). Moreover, the local business culture encourages creativity (72% happy vs. 51% globally), promotes independent work (65% vs. 45% globally), and fosters flexibility (89% vs. 60% globally). Maybe this is why 74% of expats are satisfied with their job in general, compared to 64% globally.
While the city performs well in the Ease of Settling In Index (15th), the Expat Essentials Index (38th) brings some more negative results: housing is not only difficult to find for expats (62% unhappy vs. 27% globally) but also hard to afford (79% vs. 43% globally). “The cost of living is outrageous,” shares an Italian expat. “It is impossible to find decent accommodation at affordable prices.” In fact, the city ranks second to last in the Housing Subcategory (49th), where only Munich (50th) performs worse.
It does not look much better in the Personal Finance Index (44th). Over two in three expats (69%) are unhappy with the general cost of living in Dublin, about double the global average (35%). Interestingly, though the city ranks poorly for the other financial factors, 63% of expats in Dublin are satisfied with their financial situation, slightly more than the global average (60%). This could be due to the fact that 75% of expats feel that they are paid fairly for their work (vs. 62% globally).