If you are thinking of relocating to an EU country, you would probably be interested to know what the richest countries in Europe are and where you can find the richest cities. It is only reasonable to assume that the living standards are going to be high in a city that has a large GDP per capita. Money is not the only important thing in life, of course, but well-to-do people are normally friendlier to their neighbors. Below we list 7 most prosperous cities in Europe.
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Luxembourg is the name of a small European country and its capital at the same time. The country was one of the founding members of the European Union. As of the end of 2021, almost 129,000 people lived in Luxembourg. If you take the metropolitan area into account, the number of residents is going to be around 162,500. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg ranks first in the world for its GDP per capita. As of 2022, the figure was 127,670 dollars.
The Gross Domestic Product is 82 billion in Luxembourg. The metropolitan area turns out 46% of the GDP mostly by providing financial services. Around 150 banks work in the capital city. Thus, if we do our maths, we will see that the metropolitan area of Luxembourg makes 37.7 billion per year, which makes the GDP 232,000 dollars per capita. This makes Luxembourg the richest city in Europe and the richest city in the world.
Luxembourg has a flourishing financial sector: a large number of banks, investment funds, and insurance companies can be found there. The political situation is fantastically stable in the country, the government is truly democratic, and the level of corruption is extremely low. All these factors help Luxembourg offer a favorable business environment and attract foreign investments. The richest European city offers a beneficial taxation regime to holding companies registered on its territory.
The combination of the strong financial sector, the strategic geographical location, the highly qualified workforce, the political stability, and the low taxes allow Luxembourg to top the list of the wealthiest cities – in Europe and in the world.
2. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is the capital of Ireland. Unlike the neighboring Great Britain, Ireland has not left the European Union. The country has increased the Gross Domestic Product significantly over the last ten years or so. Transnational corporations registered in the jurisdiction have contributed greatly to the economic growth of the country. They choose Ireland because there they find the most attractive taxation rates in the whole of Western Europe.
According to the official statistics, the nominal GDP in Ireland was 519 billion dollars in 2022. According to the Eurostat data, the Dublin metropolitan area brought 47% of the total GDP (244 billion) last year. Around 2,073,000 people live in Greater Dublin. Thus, we can calculate the GDP of Dubliners per capita: it comes up to $117,700. This figure puts Dublin on the second line in the list of the richest European cities.
The capital of Ireland is rightfully considered the main economic center of the country because nearly half of the GDP is generated there. Many transnational technological giants such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have opened their European headquarters in Dublin. This has created a high demand for qualified employees in the technological area, which, in turn, has stimulated economic growth. Ireland has a favorable business environment with low corporate tax rates, which helps attract investments from all around the world.
3. Frankfurt, Germany
In 2022, Frankfurt was the richest city in Germany in terms of its GDP per capita and the third richest city in the European Union. The figure was 102,940 dollars. More than 750,000 people live in the city and the Gross Domestic Product exceeded 77 billion last year.
This city is considered the main financial center of the EU because the European Central Bank is located there as well as the Frankfurt stock exchange that is one of the largest stock exchanges in the world. The city has also become a center of commercial and investment banking, insurance, and asset management in Europe.
The location of Frankfurt at the very heart of the EU and a wonderful transportation network bring considerable benefits to the local economy. There is a large international airport in the city, numerous autobahns, and railroad lines.
Besides its financial sector, Frankfurt is well known for its industrial companies. European headquarters of the following corporations are located in Frankfurt:
- foreign giants of the food industry: Nestlé and Ferrero;
- foreign automakers: Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Fiat;
- information technology and telecommunications giants: T-Systems, Finanz Informatik, DB Systel, Fujitsu, and Lufthansa Systems;
- a number of large European construction companies.
In addition to that, the population of super rich people is dense in Frankfurt. In particular, 117,400 millionaires and 14 billionaires live there.
As a whole, Frankfurt combines a strong financial sector, a strategic location, highly qualified workforce, a diversified economy, and a favorable business environment. These factors have put Frankfurt on the third line in the list.
4. Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, the capital of Finland is currently on the fourth line in the list of the richest European cities. The largest part of the GDP comes from the service sector and the state sector.
Speaking of Greater Helsinki (together with the towns of Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen), it produces about one third of the Finnish GDP and it is populated by around 1,100,000 people. The GDP of this Northern European country was 321 billion dollars in 2022. One third of it is 107 billion. Correspondingly, the GDP per capita was approximately 96,000 dollars in Helsinki in 2022. About 1,000 millionaires live in the Finnish capital.
The World Economic Forum of 2022 put Helsinki among the top 25 most innovative megalopolises in the world. The metropolitan area of Helsinki is the largest urbanized area in Finland and an important cultural and economic region of the country. A dynamic technological sector has been developing in the area with a great number of startups as well as huge technological companies such as Nokia and Rovio (the creator of Angry Birds).
Helsinki has been referred to as one of the best places to live for many years now. The living standards are extremely high there and the social security system is superb. These factors make Helsinki an inviting city without doubt.
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5. Milan, Italy
Milan is considered the business capital of Italy. A great number of Italian corporations have put their headquarters there and numerous international companies have opened their branch offices in Milan. Milan is the most economically successful city in Italy: it generates 10% of the national GDP. Last year, the city GDP was 300 billion dollars. The population of the metropolis reached 3.4 million people. Accordingly, the GDP per capita was about 87,700 dollars. 900 people who have UHNWI status (each of them is worth more than 30 million) live in Milan.
Milan is famous for its fashion houses such as Versace, Gucci, Armani, Valentino, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana. Since 2009, the European city has been referred to as the ‘fashion capital’ because famous fashion brands of New York, Paris, Rome, London, and other large cities are managed from Milan. People from all over the world come to Milan to purchase branded clothes. Billions are flowing to the European city every year.
Milan has become home to most of Italy’s largest corporations from different sectors of the economy. The headquarters of the following companies are located here:
- Vodafone Italy — mobile communication;
- Alfa Romeo – automotive industry;
- Pirelli — a tire manufacturer;
- Intesa Sanpaolo — banking;
- Luxottica — Europe’s largest eyewear manufacturer.
Milan is the industrial and business center of Italy. It has a strategic location and a strong tourist industry. These factors have put Milan among the richest cities in Europe.
6. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. The city turns out around 143 billion-dollar GDP per year. The population of Greater Stockholm is around 1,750,000 people. This gives us a GDP per capita of 81,400 dollars, which makes Stockholm the sixth richest city in Europe.
The service sector is the best developed sector of the economy in Stockholm. Around 85% of all workers work in this sector. 10% are employed in the processing industry. The city has no heavy industry facilities and this makes its ecological satiation highly favorable. Few large European cities are cleaner than Stockholm is.
Around 40% of all Swedish companies with more than 200 employees have headquarters in Stockholm. It is home to the following widely known corporations:
- Ericsson — telecommunications;
- Electrolux — production of household appliances;
- AstraZeneca — a drug manufacturer;
- Swedbank — banking;
- ECDC – European Centre for Disease Prevention.
The city also boasts a flourishing technological sector with a high concentration of startups. Some large techno companies such as Spotify and Klarna, for example, are also located in Stockholm. They create a high demand for qualified staff in the technological area, which contributes to the economic growth of the city.
Stockholm is continually listed among the best European cities to live and among the riches cities in Europe. It offers high living standards and a strong social security system. The city is attractive for entrepreneurs and highly qualified specialists.
7. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is not only the capital of Denmark but it is also the richest and the most densely populated city in the country. This is why it is considered the economic and business center of the country. According to Statista, Copenhagen’s GDP per capita is DKK 555,000, or about $79,500 at the current exchange rate. This puts the Danish capital on the seventh line in the list of the richest European cities.
The GDP generated in the metropolitan area of Copenhagen (the Greater Copenhagen) is 128 billion dollars. However, its population is 1.5 times larger than the population of the city of Copenhagen.
The main driver of the economic development in the Danish capital is the service sector, especially transport and communications. A number of large European companies have their headquarters in Copenhagen such as
- AP Møller-Mærsk — the world’s largest container shipping operator;
- Novo Nordisk — pharmaceuticals;
- Carlsberg — Europe’s largest multinational brewing company;
- Novozymes – Biotechnology.
Copenhagen is one of the European capitals where a large number of parks can be found. The local authorities put a strong emphasis on sustainable development and environmental protection. They have already implemented several projects aimed at decreasing the level of carbon emission. It is expected that Copenhagen will become the first European capital with zero CO2 emission by 2025. This is why well-to-do people who wish to live in a clean city with an advanced infrastructure choose Copenhagen. More than 30,000 millionaires live there.
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