Recent research has revealed that Amsterdam remains the most attractive city to live in, based on the availability of housing, jobs, and the number of cultural attractions.

Municipality Atlas 2023

Every year, Dutch research agency Atlas Research conducts a study of the 50 largest municipalities in the Netherlands, assessing each across over 50 different indicators in order to determine what each city has to offer (prospective) residents.

The indicators assessed include the quality and quantity of green spaces, house prices, universities, job opportunities, and the variety of cultural activities in the form of local attractions. The findings are then published in an extensive report which outlines the pros and cons of each city – with this year’s report placing emphasis on the natural spaces in each municipality.

Amsterdam once again tops Housing Attractive Index

While Amsterdam disappoints when it comes to the availability of so-called green and blue spaces (e.g. number and quality of trees, parks, canals and lakes), it still managed to take the top spot in the Housing Attractive Index, making it – once again – the most attractive city to live in in the Netherlands

When it comes to the green and blue ranking, however, Arnhem comes out on top, a city which “combines a favourable location in relation to the Veluwe with large areas of green and blue in the districts in the city.” Other cities that did well in this category include Zwolle, Alkmaar, Apeldoorn and Lelystad – Amsterdam, meanwhile, came in 17th place behind Utrecht but above The Hague and Rotterdam.

Dutch still find jobs and housing more important than climate

The research found that the average Dutch citizen continues to find other factors – such as jobs, crime rates, and local universities – more important than the quality of green spaces when deciding on somewhere to live. This means that Emmen, which is the Netherlands’ most heat-proof city (a key topic in the climate change conversation), still occupies the bottom spot in the Housing Attractive Index.

“We are not saying that you cannot live comfortably in Emmen. There is a lot of greenery and a beautiful zoo and it is relatively safe,” Atlas researcher Marten Middeldorp told NRC. “But there are few jobs and facilities, the culinary offer is also meagre, all business that the average Dutch person finds attractive.”

10 most attractive Dutch cities to live in 

According to the 2023 Housing Attractive Index, the top 10 most attractive municipalities to live in are:

  1. Amsterdam
  2. Amstelveen
  3. Leiden
  4. Utrecht
  5. Leidschendam-Voorburg
  6. Hilversum
  7. The Hague
  8. Rotterdam 
  9. Haarlem
  10. Delft

For more information about the report, visit Atlas Research’s website.

Thumb: Dennis van de Water via

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