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Barcelona, the best city in southern Europe to live and work

Barcelona, the best city in southern Europe to live and work

Did you know that Barcelona is the best city in southern Europe to live and work in? This has been confirmed in the City Talent Indexa ranking that measures European cities’ capacity for attracting and retaining talent. The survey is prepared by the consulting firm NTT DATA in collaboration with Barcelona Global

While London is still top overall, Barcelona is ranked 1st in southern Europe, and 12th out of the 32 European cities analyzed, which are all also in the top 50 in terms of regional GNP and population. The report evaluates all the elements that make cities competitive and is based on more than 50 indicators from organizations like the OECD, Eurostat, the World Bank and Unicef.

Improvement in Barcelona’s overall position

NTT DATA, based in Barcelona, is an innovative global company that has had a deep-rooted commitment to the city since its inception.

In this year’s report, Barcelona’s overall positioning has improved and it now leads in lifestyle due to its wide range of services, transport connections and infrastructure, not to mention its role as a tourist destination. All this helps to attract and retain international talent and inward investment. City Talent Indexis not the only ranking, Barcelona is also ranked highly in other lists such as The World's Best Cities 2023 , in which it is the sixth most attractive city in the world to live in.

What’s more, Barcelona continues to be valued as a city whose startup ecosystem provides the perfect conditions for creating and growing startups.

Barcelona, pioneering in education and diversity

Barcelona is also a benchmark for higher education , thanks to its renowned business schools,among the best in the world. The positions of IESE Business School como ESADE Business School en la segunda y cuarta posición del ranking anual de las mejores escuelas de negocio del mundo del Financial Times, respectivamente, son ejemplos de éxito conseguidos en la ciudad condal. Del mismo modo, EADA Business School llega a la vigesimoquinta posición en el listado global y ocupa la decimosexta posición en programas abiertos. Estos hechos esclarecen el motivo por el que la ciudad mediterránea ha ascendido en la atracción de talento universitario.

Another important factor in the report is the diversity indicator, with Barcelona described as “a diverse and egalitarian city.”And, lastly, Barcelona is ranked highly for its high level of digitalization with a large number of households with internet access and widespread digitalization in the private sector. Further work in developing digital skills still needs to be undertaken by public bodies, however.

Areas for improvement

Barcelona can still do more to generate and develop local talent. For example, Barcelona has been working for years with initiatives such as ICREA (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) and BIST (Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology) to create synergies that will turn Barcelona into a leading city in continuous training of professionals. Proposals to improve Barcelona’s overall positioning include:

  1. Strengthening the business fabric of the city by encouraging and attracting major projects.
  2. Turning the city into a benchmark for sustainability..
  3. Improving the regulatory and fiscal framework and consolidating the startup law.
  4. Adapting the education system in order to generate and attract a greater number of international students.
  5. Adopting measures to attract international talent, such as streamlining and digitizing administrative procedures.
  6. Promoting innovation in order to turn Barcelona into a center of excellence in research.

This report has once again demonstrated Barcelona’s leading position in lifestyle, digital talent, diversity, startup ecosystem, and education.

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