Quality of Life Index: A Comparison between Spain, Portugal, USA, and UK

quality of life

At Spainguru, we not only focus on the legal and immigration aspects of moving to Spain but also on the quality of life one can expect when doing so. After an analysis on the Cost of Living Index, today we delve into the Quality of Life Index from Numbeo.com, which provides a comprehensive view of life’s quality across key global cities, including those in Spain, Portugal, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Understanding the Quality of Life Index

The Quality of Life Index is a multifaceted assessment that considers several critical factors: Purchasing Power, Pollution, House Price to Income Ratio, Cost of Living, Safety, Health Care, Traffic Commute Time, and Climate. This index ranks 195 cities, with a higher score indicating a better quality of life.

RankCountryCityQuality of Life Index
69United StatesDenver, CO157.5
94United KingdomManchester146.2
95United StatesHouston, TX145.4
98United StatesWashington, DC143.9
99United StatesChicago, IL142.9
111United StatesLos Angeles, CA137.3
118United StatesNew York, NY135.7
132United KingdomLondon126.9
quality of life

Spain: Leading in Quality of Life

Spain shines in this index, with Valencia ranking 4th globally with a score of 198. This impressive ranking is attributed to its balanced lifestyle, excellent climate, and affordable living costs. Madrid follows closely, ranking 8th with a score of 186.3, showcasing its robust purchasing power and vibrant city life. Barcelona, though lower at 105th with a score of 139.5, still offers a high quality of life, especially in terms of culture and climate.

Portugal: A Close Contender

Portugal, with its rich history and relaxed lifestyle, also performs well. Porto ranks 14th with a score of 179.2, reflecting its excellent safety and affordable living standards. Lisbon, the capital, stands at 39th with a score of 165.3, balancing modern amenities with cultural richness.

USA: A Mixed Bag of Quality

The United States presents a varied picture. Denver, CO, ranks 69th with a score of 157.5, offering a high quality of life with its excellent health care and favorable climate. However, major cities like New York (118th, 135.7) and Los Angeles (111th, 137.3) rank lower, primarily due to high living costs and traffic commute times.

UK: The Challenge of Balancing Cost and Quality

In the UK, Manchester ranks 94th with a score of 146.2, offering a reasonable balance of life quality factors. London, however, is at 132nd with a score of 126.9, where high living costs and house price to income ratios impact its overall ranking.

Conclusion: Spain and Portugal as Top Choices for Quality of Life

This Quality of Life Index comparison between Spain, Portugal, USA, and UK reveals that Spain and Portugal offer an enviable balance of affordability, safety, health care, and climate, making them top choices for those seeking a high quality of life. While the major cities in the US and UK offer their unique advantages, they face challenges in balancing cost and quality.

For those considering a move, these insights into the quality of life can be as crucial as the cost of living. As always, at Spainguru, we believe in providing a holistic view to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle.

Stay tuned for more insights and analyses that help you navigate the complexities of moving and living abroad. Hasta la próxima!

Full data (November 2023 from Numbeo.com)

RankCityQuality of Life IndexPurchasing Power IndexSafety IndexHealth Care IndexCost of Living IndexProperty Price to Income RatioTraffic Commute Time IndexPollution IndexClimate Index
98Washington DC143.911039.565.1100.27.846.148.481.6
111Los Angeles137.3113.947.261.887.86.857.466.195.5
118New York135.710049.962.510010.443.657.979.7