Amsterdam Rankings: Quality of Life, Cost of Living, Crime Rate, Culture…

Amsterdam Rankings: Quality of Life, Cost of Living, Crime Rate, Culture…

Amsterdam Tourist Information

Amsterdam rankings

How does Amsterdam rank?

On this page we keep track of all manner of Amsterdam rankings — in local and international surveys, and on a wide variety of topics. Quality of life, cost of living, crime rate, public transport, livability, and so on.

Bookmark this page, as it will be updated frequently.

Cost of Living

Updated June 28, 2018

Amsterdam has become more expensive for expats, according to the 2018 edition of Mercer‘s annual Cost of Living Survey. The city ranks 50th in the world — a significant advance from its position at 85 last year.

The high cost of rental properties in Amsterdam is primarily responsive for the jump. Prices on the housing market have risen significantly.

Another reason is the strong position of the euro against the dollar, according to Mercer. This makes it more expensive for companies that work in dollars to send their staff to Amsterdam. That is also why many cities in Western Europe have advanced on the list.

Seen over a 20-year period (1998-2018), the cost of living in Amsterdam has increased by 8 percent.

Despite the 35-place jump on the list, among Western European cities Amsterdam remains at 12th place — just like last year.

The top ten most expensive cities in the 24th edition edition of Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey:

  1. Hong Kong, HKSAR
  2. Tokyo, Japan
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Singapore, Singapore
  5. Seoul, South Korea
  6. Luanda, Angola
  7. Shanghai, China
  8. Ndjamena, Chad
  9. Beijing, China
  10. Bern, Switzerland

Mercer’s survey includes 375 cities across five continents. It measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons, and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.

The comprehensive survey helps multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their expatriate employees.

Video: Mercer’s 2018 Cost of Living City Ranking

On the Cost of Living Index published by Expatistan, a website that tracks over 200 cities worldwide, Amsterdam ranks 35th — up from 42nd in June of last year.

Expatistan is a Collaborative international cost of living index. Last time we checked (June 30, 2018) the site included 2,479,000 prices entered by 278,500 users in 2,282 different cities. The site uses Prague, Czech Republic, as its reference city.

It is a handy website to check the cost of a range of goods and services in Amsterdam — in Euro or in the currency of your choice.

Numbeo, which has a similar approach to Expatistan, in June 2018 ranks Amsterdam 33th out of 546 cities in the world.[ref]Numbeo’s rankings are based on user-contributed data.[/ref]


Updated May 27, 2018

Amsterdam remains the least safe city in the Netherlands, according to the 2018 edition of the annual Crime Index[ref]Dutch: Misdaadmeter[/ref] published by Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

The city held on to its position in the index even though there was a reduction in the number of the most common type of crimes.

The number of car thefts was up by 15,2% (1840). House burglaries up by 4% (4486). And store robberies, up by 4,5% (184).

Other types of crime saw a reduction, including pick-pocketing (-17.5% — 6678), street robberies (10,3% — 1194), and car break-ins (-5,2% — 8676).

In the Safe Cities Index 2017, published by The Economist, Amsterdam ranks sixth globally and first in Europe.

Incidentally: that infamous ‘Scam City‘ broadcast about Amsterdam was, well, a scam.

police on horseback
Man argues with Amsterdam police officer over a traffic ticket. The horse seems more interested than the cop.


Updated May, 2018

Amsterdam is the second most LGBT-friendly city in the world, says Nestpick[ref]Best LGBT Cities 2017, Nestpick[/ref], a Germany-based online platform for furnished rental homes and rooms in the mid-range. Madrid takes first place, while Toronto, Tel Aviv, and London round out the Top 5. These cities are followed by Berlin, Brighton (UK), Barcelona, New York City, and San Francisco, along with 90 other cities in the company’s Top 100 Best LGBT Cities 2017.

The list is compiled by polling the LGBT communities in 80 countries on three factors: the strength of their city’s gay dating scene, the quality of its LGBT nightlife, and the openness of their fellow citizens. Nestpick adds a fourth category of safety, determined by public statistics provided by police departments.

Finally, a fifth category considers the LGBT rights of citizens in each of the 40 countries included in the ranking.

The entire country of the Netherlands ranks 11th out of 49 European countries in the 2018 country ranking produced by ILGA-Europe — the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

By the way: the hugely popular Gay Pride Canal Parade will take place Saturday, August 4, 2018

Amsterdam gay pride boat parade
Crowds gather on and along the river Amstel in anticipation of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride Canal Parade


Updated March, 2018

Nestpick notes that millennials care more about housing and human rights than about partying or, as sometimes perceived, a sense of entitlement.

In the introduction to its 2018 Millennial Cities Ranking[ref]2018 Millennial Cities Ranking, Nestpick[/ref] report, Nestpick — a company that helps people find furnished apartments across Europe — says it has “witnessed first-hand a clear pattern in the way that young professionals flock to some of the most dynamic urban districts.”

In 2018, the second year the company publishes this report, Amsterdam ranks at number 4 in the Top Ten of Best Cities for Millennials.

The methodology included anything from looking at the median price of a 39m2 furnished apartment, to scores on transport, health, internet speed, LGBT friendliness, gender equality, and employment opportunities.

Quality of Life

These indexes can differ greatly as various firms use different criteria and statistics.

Updated March, 2018

The Deutsche Bank, in its report “Mapping the World’s Prices 2018,”[ref]Report published March, 2018[/ref] ranks Amsterdam in 10th place in the Quality of Life index.

  1. Wellington, New Zealand
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. Edinburgh, UK
  5. Vienna, Austria
  6. Helsinki, Finland
  7. Melbourne, Australia
  8. Sydney, Australia
  9. Frankfurt, Germany
  10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

In its Quality of Living Index 2018, Mercer lists Amsterdam in 12th place. The rest of the list:

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Auckland, New Zealand
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vancouver, Canada
  6. Dusseldorf, Germany
  7. Frankfurt, Germany
  8. Geneva, Switzerland
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Basel, Switzerland (shared place)
  11. Sydney, Australia (shared place)
  12. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  13. Berlin, Germany
  14. Bern, Switzerland
  15. Wellington, New Zealand

Basel is a newcomer in the list. It shares 10th place with Sydney Australia, which means Amsterdam drops one rank to number twelve verses number eleven in last year’s list.

Popularity Worldwide

Updated July 11, 2017

Amsterdam has entered the top ten of the world’s most popular cities as defined by IPSOS, a global marketing and research firm.

The company interviewed almost 19.000 adults across 26 countries. Participants were asked, “Based on what you have seen yourself, or heard about from others, which three
cities in the world do you think are the best to 1) Live in? 2) Visit? and 3) Do business in?

There were sixty cities to choose from. The sum of the three scores for each city was calculated (% live in plus % visit plus % do business) to arrive at the IPSOS Cities Index.

Amsterdam is the only newcomer to the list, moving up to tenth place from 14th in the previous version of the Index.

Cities Index Score 2017 2013
New York 50 1 1
Abu Dhabi 46 2 4
London 41 3 2
Paris 39 4 3
Sydney 36 5 (shared) 5
Zurich 36 5 (shared) 6
Tokyo 36 5 (shared) 7
Rome 34 8 9
Los Angeles 28 9 10
Amsterdam 27 10 14

Dynamic City

Updated June 27, 2017

Amsterdam ranks in fourth place on a list of the most dynamic cities in Europe. Compiled by Savills Investment Management, the list ranks Europe’s top 40 cities by six categories: Investment, Innovation, Inspiration, Inclusion, Interconnection and Infrastructure.[ref]Savills IM Dynamic Cities[/ref]

Amsterdam makes the top 10 for interconnection, inspiration, innovation, and investment.

London leads the list, followed by Paris and Cambridge. Berlin is in fifth place.

Savills notes that in 2016 Amsterdam had the fourth highest number of start-ups among European cities.

Popularity within the Netherlands

As in its previous three editions, the 2017 edition of the biannual Cities and Regions survey published by brand consultancy firm Hendrik Beerda[ref]Steden & Streken Merkenonderzoek, Hendrik Beerda, in cooperation with the University of Utrecht[/ref] identifies Amsterdam as the most popular city in the Netherlands.

The survey notes that the city of Rotterdam has strongly gained in popularity, jumping from sixth place to second.

The growing popularity of Rotterdam is mainly due to the continuous renewal of the city — with a flow of striking, innovative construction projects.

Amsterdam is renowned for its canals, wide variety and selection of cultural offerings, attractive restaurants, and its many shops.

The top ten most popular cities, including their rankings in 2015, 2013, and 2011:

  1. (1,1,1) Amsterdam
  2. (4,4,6) Rotterdam
  3. (3,3,3) Utrecht
  4. (2,2,2) Maastricht
  5. (5,5,4) Den Haag
  6. (7,7,7) Groningen
  7. (8,9,10) Nijmegen
  8. (6,6,5) ‘s-Hertogenbosch
  9. (14,14,-) Delft[ref]In 2011, Delft was not listed because in that year the 25 largest municipalities were measured (now the 50 largest)[/ref]
  10. (12,15,12) Haarlem

Public Transport

Updated May 26, 2017

Worldwide, Amsterdam ranks 6th in the list of cities where public transportation costs the most, says the World Economic Forum.[ref]World Economic Forum, These are the cities where commuting costs the most, May 26, 2017. Figures used are based on Mapping the World’s Prices 2017, a report by Deutsche Bank (May 3, 2017) and Expatistan — a site that tracks the cost of living in over 200 countries.[/ref] Reported in dollars, the monthly cost of using public transport in Amsterdam is $108.60, vs $174 in London (1st place), $102.70 in Toronto, Canada (10th), or $86.10 in San Francisco (16th).[ref]Prices do not take into account discounts.[/ref]


Updated May 4, 2017

As part of its Quality of Living Index, in 2017 Mercer also ranked cities based on their infrastructure — the availability of electricity, drinking water, telephone and e-mail services, public transport, the amount of traffic jams and the supply of international flights.

Amsterdam scored well on all points, except for the degree of traffic jams. Mercer notes that “[b]y addressing this problem, Amsterdam will become more attractive to foreign organizations.”


Updated April 3, 2017

Amsterdam is the most cultural city in the world according to credit broker TotallyMoney[ref]The World’s Most Cultural Cities, TotallyMoney. The report uses visitor numbers from 2013 through 2015.[/ref].

The company used TripAdvisor to determine the number of theaters (in Amsterdam: 96), museums (81), art galleries (54), World Heritage sites (2), concert halls (8), and Michelin-starred restaurants (43) in the 30 cities worldwide that received most international overnight visitors.

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