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Third international talent monitoring initiative results have revealed the pros and cons of life and work in Barcelona for expats

talents monitoring in barcelona

In general, foreign specialists who work and live in this city appreciate Barcelona, even though not everything is perfect. Common complaints were the low levels of English proficiency among locals, bureaucratic matters, and high housing prices. However, expats’ overall experience of the city was positive – in the survey, participants labeled Barcelona as global, open-minded, and good at communication. The general satisfaction level based on key indicators, including working and living conditions, business, integration, and education, hasincreased in comparison to the survey results from six months and a year ago. Barcelona scored 7 points out of 7 based on these indicators.

  • The competitive salary is another advantage in Barcelona – over 25% of the survey participants chose the city for this reason. The majority of those surveyed are content with their work, and since 2015, this indicator has maintained a score of 5.0. Nevertheless, many people feel that they could make more money for their work (at 3.2 points, based on this indicator). Additionally, Barcelona offers great opportunities for businesses (with 4.2-4.6 points).
  • A major problem thatexpats face here is expensive housing. Since 2003, the satisfaction level on this indicator has increased by only 0.3 points, from 3.4 to 3.7 points. This year, the score for housing prices was only 3 points. Among expats’ major challenges, specialists point to the housing search (3.0) and housing purchase (2.8).Additionally, bureaucracy has become a major obstacle for many newcomers relocating to Barcelona (3.4). The availability of documents, websites, and application forms in English is also very low: 3.0,based on this indicator.
  • The climate and gastronomy of the Catalonian capital are highly appreciated, as always: these life aspects have gained 5.1 points accordingly. The sports sector scored 5.3 points, and cultural life obtained 5.1 points. The public healthcare system is estimated to have reached5.0 points, with private medicine at 5.5 points.
  • Most of the participants did not express any difficulties with the Catalan language as one of the two official languages. Only 9.8% of the participants perceive the language as a difficulty. The satisfaction level when it comes to opportunities for children’s education decreased in comparison with the indexes of 2015, from 5.5 to 5.0 points. The majority of the expats surveyed(46.5%) choose international schools, 25.2% choseprivate, and only 19.2% chosepublic schools.
  • Overall, expats in Barcelona feel that they are a part of the local community, but not at 100% (4.6 points). The openness of Barcelona natives toward newcomers was estimated at 4.9 points.

Once every six months, Barcelona Global organization, in collaboration with Banco Sabadell, carries out an extensive survey to analyze the level of competitiveness of the Catalonian capital and its ability to attract foreign specialists. 45% of the participants surveyed are employees of local and international technological, scientific, and educational companies, 15% are entrepreneurs, 10% are investors, and 8% are freelancers. 70% of these have a specialist’s degree or a doctoral degree.


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