British newspaper the Sunday Times recently released an extensive study aiming to rate and rank the world’s destinations, looking for the very best places to live in the UK, Europe and even worldwide.
While the Sunday Times list is far from unique – a number of other publishers have been producing similar lists for years – it is interesting all the same to consider their findings. Indeed, in many cases it is the key features between this study and the others that makes for such interesting reading.
For example the Sunday Times list used a combination of economic, health and crime statistics including home ownership figures and average income. This is rather different to most other studies which use factors such as affordability and standards of education. Property prices also didn’t feature in the metrics, meaning that more expensive areas were able to prosper more than in other similar surveys. As a result the Sunday Times surfaces some rather different category winners to those seen in many other surveys.
Within the UK, the survey found that the very best place to live was the Test Valley in Hampshire. Wokingham in Berkshire came in second place, benefitting as it does from an incredibly low crime rate. Even more interestingly, no part of London managed to make it into the top 10 places to live. This is primarily because of the relatively higher crime rates found within the capital which served as a significant handicap in the overall ranking figures.
So what is the best place to live worldwide? Where should expats and tourists alike be looking to visit in the coming years as their “must-see” destination?
Bearing in mind the fact that countries like Panama and Ecuador frequently top the charts of the best expat destinations the winner of this particular study is perhaps rather surprising. According to the numbers crunched by the Sunday Times team the very best place in the world to live is Mallorca – or more precisely its capital Palma.
Over the years Palma has become a favourite destination with celebrities and savvy tourists offering as it does a perfect combination of enviable weather, beautiful architecture and carefully-controlled development which has allowed it to retain its old-world charm even in the face of modern tourism.
Palma has been described as a “pocket-sized city that has it all, on a beautiful island”. No wonder that many regulars return year after year. And perhaps after the publication of this survey you too will consider sampling the delights of this beautiful city in the near future.