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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Vienna: A Great Quality of Life at the Cost of Feeling Unwelcome

Expats are delighted and disappointed in turn when it comes to life in the Austrian capital.

Vienna ranks 36th out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023. It performs worst for Ease of Settling In (49th), where it ranks last. Expats regard the local population as the unfriendliest worldwide (49th) and do not feel welcome (49th). In fact, twice the global average find it difficult to get used to the local culture (36% vs. 18% globally). And a staggering 63% say it’s difficult to make local friends (vs. 36% globally)!

The city does, however, offer a great Quality of Life (8th). Expats particularly appreciate the local Healthcare (9th) as well as the affordable (6th) and readily available (4th) public transportation options. Costs in Vienna in general seem reasonable: over three-quarters (77%) agree that their disposable household income is enough or even more than enough to lead a comfortable life in Vienna (vs. 73% globally).

An above-average share also agree that housing is affordable (42% vs. 38% globally), if not always easy to find (20th). But Vienna receives worse results for other areas of the Expat Essentials Index (36th). Expats say it’s not easy to pay without cash (42nd) or to get a visa to move to Austria (40th), for example.

The Working Abroad Index (32nd) sees a similarly mixed picture. Expats are happy with the state of the local economy (83% vs. 62% globally) and their working hours (70% vs. 64% globally). But Vienna lands in the bottom 10 for Career Prospects (40th): less than half (48%) view their personal career opportunities favorably (vs. 57% globally). And over a third (36%) rate the local job market negatively (vs. 26% globally).

Overall, 67% of expats are happy with their life in Vienna, compared to 72% globally.

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