In 2022 Expats in Germany will have to approach life and careers in Germany strategically. That means not only the work but the location. Because the Best Cities To Live In Germany not only mean economic strength and wage levels, but also good quality of life.
Best Cities To Live In Germany In 2022: So that you know which advantages are waiting for you where, we have taken a close look at the Best Cities To Live In Germany for single Expats, married Expats, and students and found out where you can benefit and how. Read below to find out where the livable cities in Germany are in 2022.
City Ranking Germany: Quality of life is the most important factor in 2022
Which German cities have the highest quality of life?
Munich, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf were the cities with the highest quality of life over the last 2 years.
Which German cities are top in terms of sustainability?
The Bavarian capital of Munich is best equipped for the economic, ecological and social challenges of the future with a sustainability index of 56.4. This is followed by Stuttgart (54.7) and Hamburg (52).
Where is the cheapest place to live in Germany?
Leipzig and Düsseldorf are the cheapest places for Expats to live. There the rent-to-income ratio is lowest at 33 and 34 percent respectively.
In which German cities are people most satisfied with their salary?
The satisfaction of employees with their salaries is highest in Munich, Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, according to recent comparisons.
Which German city has the lowest unemployment rate?
The lowest unemployment rate in recent city rankings is found in Munich at 3.3 percent. It is followed by Stuttgart (3.6 percent) and Frankfurt (5 percent).
City Ranking Germany: Overall quality of life and the labor market in 2022
Find out the most important facts about each of the German cities that are perfect for Expats in Germany and how they are positioned in terms of economy, quality of life and sustainability. The aspect of sustainability is particularly important in the course of the corona pandemic: How well are the cities prepared for future challenges?
1. Berlin: There are good reasons why Berlin is so special
Berlin is known for its unique cultural value: A huge art scene, long party nights and concentrated big city flair are available here like nowhere else in Germany. In recent years, the start-up industry in particular has attracted many young professionals, innovative companies from the creative industries and the technology sector as well as numerous research institutions act as a magnet for highly qualified specialists. It is no coincidence that Tesla is also building its Gigafactory at the gates of Berlin. Nevertheless, the capital can offer reasonable price ratios for employees :
- Berlin is still a poor city – economically and financially, Berlin’s room for maneuver is significantly limited compared to other cities in our ranking: the municipal taxpower is only 952 euros per inhabitant. For comparison: In Frankfurt, each resident pays 2,091 euros, more than double that, to the city coffers. In the capital one earns an average of 2,424 euros net – there are only more salaries in Munich and Frankfurt. However, 37 percent of this goes towards renting a one-room apartment (€ 903.19).
- The satisfaction with their merit is our ranking (3.47) with Berliners on average. On a scale from 1 (very satisfied) to 5 (very unsatisfied) they achieve a value of 3.4.
- In our comparison of cities, Berlin has the highest unemployment rate of 7.9 percent (the city average is only 5.8 percent).
- In view of the notorious problem areas in Berlin, the crime rate is not surprising : For every 100,000 inhabitants, there are 13,583 crimes in Berlin, which is 3,122 more than the calculated average.
- With nine public holidays per year, Berlin is below the average ranking value of 11 public holidays.
- How fit is Berlin for the next few decades? When it comes to sustainability , Berlin only ranks last in our city comparison with a value of 46.6. There is also room for improvement when it comes to supplying Berlin households with future-proof internet connections via fiber optics (7 percent).
- Finally, some nice news: Berliners can look forward to around 100 hours of sunshine more per year than our ranking cities have on average.
So it shows: Berlin is still a not entirely unproblematic city when it comes to public finances. Nevertheless, the metropolis has top employers, reasonable rental prices, an excellent range of leisure activities and an international atmosphere for employees.
2. Hamburg: Attractive place to live and work
Hamburg is one of the most important port locations in the entire world. The city’s economic strength is correspondingly high . Particularly known as a relaxed metropolis in the far north, the city with the new Elbphilharmonie, the fish market and the Reeperbahn is generally very popular . But what do the numbers reveal about the Hanseatic city?
- Hamburg is a big city with a high level of economic efficiency : Here, every inhabitant pays 1,584 euros in taxes (ranking average: 1,450 euros).
- The unemployment in Hamburg is located at 6.1 percent, only slightly above the ranking average of 5.8 percent.
- The average salary in Hamburg is 2,355 euros net. Overall, the people of Hamburg are quite satisfied with their salary with a value of 3.47.
- For an apartment in a central location you transfer 911 euros rent in the Hanseatic city . That’s 39 percent of your income. In order to also cover internet, transport costs and the like, 46 percent of your salary is spent on it. Only in Munich is it even more expensive to meet basic needs.
- As in Berlin, there are only 9 public holidays a year in Hamburg .
- The criminal offenses in Hamburg (10,854 per 100,000 inhabitants) are slightly higher than the ranking average (10,461 per 100,000 inhabitants).
- In the sustainability ranking , Hamburg achieved a place among the top 3 in our city ranking for Germany with a value of 52. Internet.
Conclusion: It becomes clear that Hamburg lives up to its reputation as one of the most expensive cities in Germany. In terms of rental prices, Hamburg is in fourth place among the most expensive cities in our ranking. Nevertheless, Hamburg still scores with a high level of attraction: Because every year it still attracts many people who move to the north mainly because of job prospects and the city’s good reputation.
3. Munich: Expensive with a strong economy
Hiking, Beer and FC Bayern: Munich seems to guarantee an unbeatable quality of life . But Munich is also known as a dynamic business location with renowned global brands such as BMW, Siemens, Google and Airbus. However, a closer look at the specific figures shows: Financially, Munich is not necessarily easy to handle. In our city ranking, it is the most expensive major city in Germany, but also the safest .
- Munich is a very prosperous city : the municipal taxpower is remarkably high at 1,872 euros per inhabitant. Only Frankfurt is richer.
- Our ranking showed that rents in particular are – unsurprisingly – extremely high, making Munich the most expensive city in our rental price ranking. The average rent for a one-room apartment in a central location is € 1,271, around 45 percent of the average salary of € 2,834.
- A Munich resident earns an average of 2,835 euros net, well above average (2,377 euros). The rental-income ratio is 45 percent, well above the city average of 37 percent. In Munich, you need half your salary to cover your basic needs (50.2 percent).
- Munich is also way ahead when it comes to jobs and employment: the unemployment rate is only 3.3 percent, which is far below the calculated average (5.8 percent).
- It is also noticeable that the Bavarian capital can show striking values when it comes to security : whereas the average of the participating cities is 10,461 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, there are only 5,836 crimes in Munich. For comparison: In Hamburg the number is 10,854 and is almost twice as high as in Munich.
- In terms of sustainability , Munich also achieved a top position with a score of 56.4 and is economically, ecologically and socially well equipped for the future. When it comes to the provision of fast internet connections, Munich ranks third in our city ranking for Germany with 51 percent.
- Finally, Munich also scores with a total of 13 public holidays per year . In Berlin, for example, there are only 9 public holidays.
The bottom line is that Munich is a great and, above all, safe city. If you want to enjoy all these advantages in one of the most livable cities in Germany, you need a high budget in order to be able to live well and carefree. As an employee, it is therefore particularly important to ensure that you have an adequate income.
4. Cologne: Good cost ratios for rent and other expenses
In the Rhine metropolis of Cologne, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries as well as mechanical engineering have settled. But Cologne has also established itself as a media location and digital city No. 1 according to self-promotion . Our ranking shows that this is a very livable city .
- With a municipal tax rate of 1,315 euros per inhabitant, Cologne only has below-average financial and economic performance. On average, the tax power of the cities we examined is 1,450 euros.
- In Cologne, the average net salary is 2,237 euros per month. When it comes to salary satisfaction , Cologne, with a value of 3.46, roughly corresponds to the average of our city ranking.
- The rental rates are more expensive at 819 euros to 76 euros as the ranking average.
- The rent-to-income ratio shows, however, that people in Cologne have to pay just as much of their income as the ranking average (37 percent) for their rent.
- The people of Cologne have 11 public holidays per year, which is identical to the average amount in our ranking.
- The crime rate in Cologne is higher than the average (10,461 acts per 100,000 inhabitants): In Cologne there are 10,779 criminal acts.
- The unemployment rate is 7.8 percent. This puts Cologne in second place with the highest unemployment rate in the ranking.
- Cologne also has some catching up to do when it comes to sustainability : with an index value of 49.5, the city on the Rhine is below the ranking average of 51.2. Above all, the ecological development potential leaves much to be desired. Cologne, on the other hand, is at the top when it comes to connecting its households to the super-fast fiber optic Internet (72 percent).
The result: If you are looking for a relaxed and multicultural city in the heart of Europe, with good prices and an acceptable salary satisfaction, Cologne could offer you the best conditions.
5. Frankfurt: Great prospects for jobs in finance
As the location of numerous banking groups, Frankfurt am Main is not only one of the most important financial centers in Germany, but is also world-class in this regard. But not only the location in the heart of Europe and the excellent transport links speak for the economic metropolis.
- Frankfurt is the richest city in our city comparison: Each resident pays an average of 2,091 euros in taxes to the city coffers.
- The job market in Frankfurt is strong and offers good job prospects for skilled workers. This also results in a low unemployment rate of just 5 percent – only Munich and Stuttgart have better employment rates than the Main metropolis.
- In terms of rents , Frankfurt is the second most expensive city after Munich in our ranking: For a centrally located apartment in the Main metropolis, 1,055 euros are due, 160 euros more than the average of our city comparison (895 euros).
- On the other hand, the average salary of the Frankfurters is the highest of the cities examined at 2,970 euros net.
- The average crime rate (10,461 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants) clearly exceeds Frankfurt with 12,837 crimes.
- In Frankfurt there are ten public holidays per year and thus one less than the mean value of the city comparison.
- n terms of sustainability , Frankfurt is on average with a score of 51. Noticeable: only 2 percent of Frankfurt households are connected to the fast fiber optic Internet.
All in all, that means: cosmopolitan Frankfurt is by no means a cheap city. Nevertheless, the location is economically strong and requires well-trained specialists, especially in the financial sector.
6. Stuttgart: High quality of life and great prospect for jobs in the automotive industry
Stuttgart is particularly known for its strong automotive industry and the wealth of public finances . More and more people are realizing this, because the city is growing slowly but steadily. Possible reasons show the almost without exception good values of the city rankings:
- In terms of employment, only Munich is better off than Stuttgart among the major cities examined. The unemployment rate is 3.6%, the second lowest in our city comparison.
- A Stuttgart resident earns an above-average salary with an average of 2,391 euros net .
- So it is not surprising that the employees of our city check in Stuttgart are most satisfied with their salary: With a top score of 3.58, Stuttgart takes first place in the ranking for salary satisfaction .
- In terms of average rental prices , the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, at 929 euros, is only slightly above the average of all the cities we examined (895 euros).
- Nevertheless, the people of Stuttgart pay 39 percent of their income for the rent and are thus above the average in the rental price-income ratio (37 percent).
- Things are also looking great in Stuttgart on public holidays : With a total of 12 public holidays per year, the city on the Neckar ranks second in our ranking behind Munich.
- Another bonus: Stuttgart can also score with around 100 hours of sunshine a year compared to the ranking average.
- In terms of sustainability Stuttgart is a real model student: With an index value of 54.7, the Swabian town is well above the established cities average of 51.2. In particular, the economic development potential is convincing, but ecologically it looks bleak. And there is also an urgent need to catch up when it comes to supplying households with fiber optic connections (3 percent).
- With Porsche , Daimler and Bosch, three global players have their headquarters in Stuttgart . According to the employer ranking of the Trendence Institute, you are among the top employers in the field of engineering among young professionals.
All in all, it shows: Stuttgart is the secret hit among the most livable cities in Germany. Because Stuttgart scores highly in many of the categories examined. If you are looking for a city with a high quality of life, you have definitely come to the right place.
7. Düsseldorf: Best kept secret for Expats in Germany
Did you know that the New York consultancy Mercer has chosen the city of Düsseldorf among the 10 most popular cities to live in worldwide ? Or that Düsseldorf is the third most important location for foreign direct investment in Europe ? But what about the quality of life in Düsseldorf in detail?
- Düsseldorf has an above-average tax power : 1,610 euros in tax income accrue to every resident of the city.
- The unemployment rate in Düsseldorf averages 6.6 percent and is in the middle of the ranking.
- At 755 euros, the rental price is the second lowest in our city ranking in Germany. Otherwise it is only cheaper to live in Leipzig.
- The average salary is 2,253 euros net. This means that only 34% of income comes from rent.
- When security Dusseldorf can score: Here the crime rate with 9,627 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants is significantly lower than the average of 10,461.
- The number of 11 public holidays in Düsseldorf corresponds to the ranking average.
- Is Düsseldorf also sustainably positioned? With an overall score of 51.3 in the categories of economy, ecology and social affairs, Düsseldorf is in third place behind Munich and Stuttgart. The number of high-tech start-ups is particularly noteworthy. However, only 3% of Düsseldorf households are connected to the fast internet via fiber optics.
Conclusion: Düsseldorf is a very livable city, which is much smaller than the German metropolises, but still impresses with good economic strength and a reasonable price level.
8. Leipzig: Culture and low rent
With the annual book fair, a significant history and a beautiful surrounding area, Leipzig forms an important cultural landscape in Germany. But not only these points decide on the question of the quality of life. Rent, public finances and security also play an important role.
- With a municipal tax rate of only 756 euros, Leipzig is the poorest city in our city ranking. The financial and economic performance of the city is therefore extremely low.
- The unemployment rate is 6.3% and is thus higher than the city average (5.8%).
- The rents here reach the minimum in the ranking: On average, you pay 513 euros in Leipzig for a rental apartment in a central location.
- The cost advantages in Leipzig are also evident in the ratio of rent to income : Here, only 33 percent of income is accounted for by rental costs.
- Even if the cost of living in Leipzig is low: In Leipzig you earn an average of only 1,548 euros net salary – position 8 and thus the last place in our city ranking.
- When it comes to security , Leipzig ranks 11,784 crimes above the average rate of 10,461 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.
- With 12 days a year, Leipzig ranks second with Stuttgart on most public holidays .
- The value of the sustainability index of Leipzig is with 47.7 the second smallest in our ranking; only Berlin has less economic, ecological and social development potential than the metropolis of Saxony. After all, 9% of households in Leipzig are already connected to the fiber optic internet.
In summary: You should not underestimate the smallest of the 8 large cities in our ranking: There are career opportunities here, especially in the logistics sector, through resident companies such as DHL or Amazon. But the media and creative industries are also strongly represented in Leipzig. The wage level is lower here, but so are the costs.
City Ranking Germany: The best German cities for families in 2022
Which German cities are the most attractive for starting a family? And which cities offer the largest range of family-oriented leisure activities with affordable housing and acceptable cost of living at the same time? Below are the 10 best German cities for families in 2022.
City Ranking Germany: The best German cities for students in 2022
Expats in Germany who want to study are faced with the question of which city in Germany they would like to study in.
The following criteria makes it easy for students to decide:
- The choice of university is of course the main factor that
- The cost of living, because your budget is usually limited during your studies.
- The cultural offerings
- An international social environment in your study city ensure that you enjoy your studies in Germany
- Good infrastructure, security and promising economic prospects
▶ Around 40,000 students are currently studying in the city, around 31,000 of them at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität alone. In relation to the approximately 160,000 inhabitants of Heidelberg, these numbers make the city a typical student town.
In addition to the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, there are other universities in Heidelberg, such as the Pedagogical University or the University of Fresenius.
▶ With an average cost of living of around 690 euros per month, Heidelberg is around 40 euros above the national average, but students shouldn’t be put off by that.
In addition to a historic university, the city has a lot more to offer. Located directly on the Neckar, Heidelberg is an ideal option, especially for nature lovers. So if you are in the mood for nature, a university steeped in history and a typical, tranquil student town, you are in good hands in Heidelberg.
▶ Various universities and colleges are located in Münster. This means that the city has a broad range of educational opportunities, but the cultural offerings are not neglected either.
There are numerous museums worth seeing in Münster, such as the Pablo Picasso Art Museum. There are also a variety of inviting cafes and beautiful parks in the city where you can relax after college.
▶ On average, the cost of living for students in Münster is around 659 euros per month, which is in the middle in a national comparison.
16 universities and three university-like institutions are located in Leipzig. The University of Leipzig is known as the second oldest university in Germany.
The city has a low cost of living. For a student, this is an average of 612 euros per month per person.
There is plenty to do in the city itself for enterprising students. From the alternative Connewitz district to the Leipzig Lake District, the city and the surrounding area offer attractive leisure opportunities for students.
A total of ten colleges and universities are located within the city. Including the well-known Technical University of Dresden, but also more specific universities such as the University of Church Music or the University of Dance.
The cost of living for students in Dresden averages 621 euros, which is below the national average.
In summer, the Elbe meadows invite you to relax with friends after studying. The German capital Berlin and the Czech capital Prague are only a stone’s throw away by train.
For nature lovers, Dresden offers another plus point, because the Saxon Switzerland National Park can be reached quickly by train and is ideal for climbing, hiking or cycling.
Berlin embodies diversity and uniqueness like no other city. In addition, the start-up scene is booming here and is constantly growing.
It is the sixth most expensive city in Germany with an average of 760 euros per month for students.
The cultural offer in the federal capital is simply overwhelming. Regardless of whether you are in the mood for wild party nights or relaxed evenings on one of the urban lakes, you will find it in Berlin. The city offers so much that one degree program alone would not be enough for you to experience and see it all.
6. Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main is home to numerous universities such as the Goethe University or the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Anyone who sees themselves professionally in the international economy is in good hands as a student in Frankfurt.
If you have ambitions to work in banking or other financial sectors, studying in Frankfurt can certainly help you. Here you can make your first contacts and have the opportunity to get used to the environment.
7. Freiburg im Breisgau
Freiburg im Breisgau is the city with the most hours of sunshine in Germany and currently has around 220,000 inhabitants. Over 30,000 of them are students, which means that at least one in seven is studying in Freiburg.
With its six colleges and universities, the city offers students a wide range of educational opportunities. The most famous university in Freiburg is the Albert Ludwig University, which is also the largest university in the city. In addition to it, there are, among others, the University of Education and the Catholic University.
The average cost of living for students in Freiburg is 630 euros per month.
Freiburg also has a lot to offer in terms of culture and entertainment. A jazz festival takes place here every year, and there is also the Ebneter Kultursommer every year. In tranquil Freiburg you will find plenty of cozy cafés where you can have a good time after university.
The city is one of the German cities with the highest density of bars per inhabitant. This makes Aachen a sociable, pleasant place to live for young students.
Two different universities are located in Aachen. One of them is the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, the other option is the Aachen University of Applied Sciences. Around 40,000 people are currently studying in Aachen, which makes up around 15% of the total population.
The current cost of living in Aachen for students is around 850 euros per month, which is in the upper range in a national comparison.
There are a total of 27 different colleges and universities in the city, with around 50,000 students working on their degrees. The University of Stuttgart and the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences are among the two largest educational institutions here.
Stuttgart is also home major corporations such as Daimler or Bosch. The average cost of living is around 861 euros per month for students.
The city conveys a relaxed attitude towards life, which is mainly created by the architecture, which is more reminiscent of the atmosphere of a small town. Outside the city center, there are actually many older, tranquil houses, complemented by numerous trees and green spaces.