Which Spanish city has the best quality of life?

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Survey measure quality of life in 15 Spanish cities

Consumer organisation OCU, researches the satisfaction and quality of life for residents in 15 Spanish cities. They were marked against ten criteria.

The OCU presented the inhabitants of the cities with ten criteria: mobility, public safety, health services, educational services, cultural, sports and leisure facilities, pollution and environment, labour market, cost of living, property market and cleanliness. In addition, respondents were asked to rate the quality of life in general.

Number one for quality of life

The inhabitants of Vigo, the largest city in the Autonomous Community of Galicia and in the province of Pontevedra, are the most satisfied. The city scores well in the areas of safety, cleanliness, education, environment and pollution. It is pleasant to live there with children because of its sporting, recreational and cultural offerings. Weaknesses are the labour and real estate market.

The full list

  1. Vigo
  2. Zaragoza
  3. Bilbao
  4. Valladolid
  5. Cordoba
  6. Malaga
  7. Valencia
  8. Gijón
  9. Alicante
  10. Seville
  11. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  12. Murcia
  13. Palma
  14. Barcelona
  15. Madrid

Numbers two to five

Zaragoza, in second place, scores very well in almost all areas except cleanliness. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Bilbao want to see the cost of living and the property market improved. Valladolid and Cordoba, in fourth and fifth place respectively, also score above average.

Barcelona and Madrid

Madrid regional president, Isabel Ayuso, quoted the phrase ‘vivir a la madrileña’ referring to the freedom and way of life in the city. Yet the people of Madrid do not seem to be very happy about it. Madrid and Barcelona filled the last two places in the survey results with the lowest quality of life. Madrid gets a bad mark for healthcare and scores below average for education, while Barcelona lags behind in terms of safety.


The survey also questioned respondents about changes in quality of life after the pandemic. In all cities the situation worsened, in some cities more severely. In Barcelona and Madrid the downward trend of recent years accelerated due to the pandemic, in Palma there was a dip. The inhabitants of the Balearic Islands complain mainly about mobility and the cost of living; the latter  has increased due to the coronavirus crisis.

Baycrest Wealth

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