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Er Gaat Niets Boven Groningen?

The European Commission has released its 2023 report on the Quality of life in European cities. This is a multinational survey that has been repeated every year since 2007. This year, the survey covered 83 cities in all of the EU Member States and even some outside the European Union with more than 70 000 interviews conducted. I’m pleased to announce that our very own Groningen is third in the most important category (overall satisfaction), just behind Zurich and sharing the same number of points as Copenhagen. Truly, there is nothing quite like Groningen.

Now, the overall satisfaction score depends on a number of different factors. From safety to access to amenities, Groningen seems to be on a huge winning streak in 2023. Some other areas where Groningen has scored highly were immigrant acceptance (88%), LGBTQIA acceptance (93%), safety walking alone at night (86%), citizen trustworthiness (86%), trust in social safety (84%), satisfaction with cultural facilities (93%), satisfaction with green spaces (90%) and public spaces (90%), satisfaction with healthcare services (92%), satisfaction with the air quality (85%), satisfaction with the noise level (81%), satisfaction with the cleanliness of the city (81%), speed of the bureaucracy (70%), understanding and acceptance of the municipal government’s actions (71%), and local administration’s information is easily accessible online (86%).

The categories above are simply where Groningen got the top 10 spot. There are many other categories where the city earned an average or above-average score. However, there are some areas where Groningen scored pretty low. However, even in those cases, that’s a positive achievement. These include scores like loneliness in the past four weeks (10%), car use (33%), use of public transport (26%), and perceived corruption (26%). Keep in mind that the car and public transport use scores are very specific to cities in the Benelux and Scandinavian regions due to their developed cycling infrastructure. Groningen has the highest percentage of people cycling per day in the EU (46%) beating both Amsterdam (39%) and Copenhagen (35%). Some of the biggest issues Groningen has are its affordability of public transport, job opportunities in the city, lack of improvement in the past five years, affordability of housing, and a high risk of having personal property stolen (looking at you bike thieves!).

Groningen is one of the best cities in Europe and it’s a perfect place to start or end your academic journey. Its highest scores are in services and amenities and in inclusivity. There is no better place to learn, meet new people, and try that one hobby you’ve been putting off for years. The city is mostly young people and there is a high percentage of international students for you to meet both in and outside ESN.

If you love statistics or if you want to compare your city with Groningen, here’s a link to the EU Commission’s report. You can find it here

~ Written by A. Heric