VALENCIA is an ‘average’ city to live, according to a new report.

The latest survey by the Spanish Consumers’ and Users’ Organisation (OCU), the results of which have been made public today (Saturday May 1), shows that the capital of the Valencian Community has dropped a few places with regards to quality of living compared to previous years.

On the list of 15 most populated cities in Spain, Valencia comes in at number seven according to the opinions of residents themselves.

Valencia City Of Arts And Sciences
City of Arts and Sciences

Up to 3,000 participants in the survey gave marks for 10 different aspects of life in their respective cities.

These included mobility, safety, healthcare coverage, education, culture, sporting facilities, leisure, pollution and environmental care, employment prospects, cost of living, the property market, and general cleanliness.

Although Valencia does not score badly in any specific areas, people who live there are generally less satisfied than residents in Vigo (Galicia), Zaragoza, Bilbao, Valladolid (Castilla y Leon), and Cordoba and Malaga (Andalucia), in that order.

However, Valencia does score the highest out of the four major players, beating Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla on the ranking – in fact, the Spanish and Catalan capitals come in last.

Valencia City Hall
Valencia City Hall

Valencia draws in overall satisfaction with Gijon (Asturias), and is followed by Alicante, Sevilla (Andalucia), Las Palmas (Canary Islands), Murcia, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona and Madrid.

The questionnaire results have led analysts to suggest that there seems to be no relation between quality of life and outside opinion, as for instance Vigo is usually criticised as being one of the ‘ugliest’ or ‘least attractive’ cities in the country while Barcelona and Madrid are widely praised by visitors.

In fact, a recent survey among expats from all over the world revealed Valencia as the number one favourite place to live out of a list of 66 cities from all seven continents.

Valencia City Houses
Houses in Valencia historic quarter

However, the Galician metropolis scores the highest among residents for its cleanliness, safety, environmental protection and standard of education – not common criteria among visitors or short-term residents.

One area in which Valencia makes the top spot is the housing market, praised for its variety, facilities, and price.

The OCU also points out that all 15 cities on the list have scored lower than average compared to other years, a result the organisation blames on a general sense of pessimism due to COVID. 

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