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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Expats in Dusseldorf Are Happy but Still Feel Unwelcome

Ranking 33rd out of 50 cities in the Expat City Ranking and 2nd among the German cities featured in the survey, Dusseldorf is the place where expats in Germany feel happiest overall.

Expats are particularly pleased with their working life, ranking Dusseldorf tenth in the Working Abroad Index. The city comes in eighth for personal career opportunities (69% happy vs. 58% globally), the best result among the five German expat hubs in the ranking. What is more, 80% consider their jobs to be secure (vs. 64% globally), and 70% are satisfied with their jobs in general (vs. 64% globally).

In terms of Personal Finance (12th), Dusseldorf has the second-best performance among the five German cities, topped only by Berlin (7th). More than three in four respondents (78%) are satisfied with their financial situation (vs. 60% globally). Dusseldorf is also the only German city among the top 10 where expats find their household income is enough to lead a comfortable life (8th). “It is easy to find a job in my field and work on my career without having financial problems,” says a Lithuanian expat.

Expats in Dusseldorf also enjoy a high Quality of Life (14th) with exceptional ratings in the Health & Well-Being Subcategory (5th). The city ranks first worldwide for the affordability of healthcare and third for its quality: close to nine in ten (88%) appreciate how affordable medical care is (vs. 61% globally). Besides that, the large majority of expats in Dusseldorf is happy with their travel opportunities (98% vs. 82% globally), their opportunities for recreational sports (93% vs. 75% globally), and their personal safety (96% vs. 81% globally).

However, 25% of expats do not feel welcome in Dusseldorf (vs. 16% globally), and 42% find it difficult to get used to the local culture (vs. 19% globally). This places the city among the bottom 10 in the Ease of Settling In Index (45th), and it even comes last in the Culture & Welcome Subcategory (50th). “People here can be obsessed with rules and scold others who do not adhere to them. They do not socialize much, and they are not open to new friendships,” says an Italian expat. It is no surprise then that expats find it hard to make local friends (59% unhappy vs. 37% globally) and are unhappy with their social life (38% vs. 26% globally).

Although it performs best out of the German cities in the ranking, Dusseldorf is still among the bottom 10 in the Expat Essentials Index (42nd). Expats struggle the most with Language and Digital Life (43rd for both). For example, they find it hard to pay without cash (27% unhappy vs. 8% globally), and 34% are not satisfied with the availability of administrative/government services online (vs. 21% globally). Another 55% find it difficult to deal with local bureaucracy (vs. 39% globally).

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