I have said it before, and I'll say it again. A person's quality of life is fairly subjective. We all have different things that help add to the quality of our lives.
There are many rankings that tell us which countries have the best living standards.
The Economist has one. Mercer has one. The is also a Wikipedia entry on the topic.
In fact, if you look at the one from Mercer in 2017, you will find that only one city in Spain made the top 50.
That city was Barcelona and I imagine that recent events will push it out of the top 50 in 2018.
Three German cities are in the top 10, so I imagine weather is not a determining factor when the decisions are taken.
Here are the criteria according to Wikipedia:
" The 231 cities are evaluated on 39 factors including political, economic, environmental, personal safety, health, education, transportation and other public service factors. In 2010,
cities were compared to New York City, which was given a base score of 100."
I have always asked myself why Spain does not rank highly.
My theories are below.
Why doesn't Spain rank well?
Not an easy question to answer. Talk to any Spaniard and they will tell you that there is no other country that comes close to Spain when it comes to quality of life.
If you analyse the key factors used in the survey, it's clear why cities like Madrid don't rank well.
Political stability, free speech and education standards are three things Spain struggles to get right.
Scandal after political scandal seems to be the norm here in recent years. The traditional power base has beed threatened by newcomers to the political scene.
Free speech has also taken a know with the implementation of the gag 'mordaza' law in 2015. Since then numerous people have ended up on the wrong side of the law because of something they tweeted about or said in the lyrics of a rap song.
Artists should have the right to say what they think without risking jail time. We might need to muzzle some of the Twitter users but jail isn't the solution.
Spain struggles to get its education system right. Every education minister wants to leave his or her stamp on it and the students suffer as a result. This article calls in an 'expensive and inadequate' system and I'd tend to agree.
Expensive because of the cost per student and inadequate given the results from the investment.
Affordable housing is also an issue in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Spain's recent internal devaluation means that many young people simply don't earn enough money to be able to access the housing market.
It's still common to find people living with their parents well into their 30s, waiting for the chance to leave the family nest.
My quality of life in spain
I think me quality of life here is pretty good. I have a job, enough free time, and I feel safe. I don't have a huge circle of friends but that is my choice.
There are plenty of open spaces where I live and my experiences with the heath system have been positive.
My only complaints are that I am living in a huge city 300kms from the nearest stretch of coast, and getting to any part of Madrid by car can be stressful.
Oh, and the winters are too cold for my liking.
Apart from that I am doing okay.
I am lucky that I don't depend on the regular Spanish job market.
Let me know your thoughts.