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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Frankfurt: Great Career Options, but a Sense of Home Is Missing

Expats rate Frankfurt the best of the German cities — and yet it still barely escapes a place in the bottom 10 ...

Frankfurt comes 37th out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023. Overall, 69% of expats are happy with their life in the city (vs. 72% globally). However, Frankfurt shares many of the same problems as Hamburg, Berlin, and Munich: expats find it hard to make friends, the people are considered unfriendly, and digital infrastructure, administration, and language pose enormous problems.

In fact, Frankfurt ranks among the bottom 5 in the Ease of Settling In Index and for the general friendliness of the residents (both 45th). Less than half (49%) feel at home there (vs. 62% globally), and even less (44%) find it easy to get used to the local culture (vs. 62% globally) — the worst results among the German cities in the survey. "The cultural difference and the language barrier have really affected my socializing opportunities,” shares a Nepalese respondent.

Similarly to Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, Frankfurt is not an easy place to get started in, either. The city ranks 44th in the Expat Essentials Index. And it ranks second to last — after Berlin — for Digital Life (48th). For example, 27% find it difficult to pay without cash, over three times the global average (8%). Although Frankfurt also ranks in the bottom 10 for Admin Topics and Language (both 41st), it does slightly better than the other German cities for affordability (30th) and ease of finding housing (35th).

Frankfurt also disappoints with a mediocre Quality of Life (30th). It ranks among the bottom 3 for affordability of public transportation and among the bottom 10 for culture and nightlife (43rd).

Working Abroad (16th) and Personal Finance (18th), on the other hand, have some highlights in store for the city which is best known for its banking sector. The local job market is ranked 2nd best worldwide, and the city places 3rd for job security. What’s more, 69% say that moving to Frankfurt has improved their career prospects (vs. 59% globally). Expats don’t necessarily see a purpose in their work (69% positive answers vs. 78% globally), though. Still, a good salary might balance that out: 80% feel that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life in Frankfurt (vs. 73% globally).

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