Barcelona City Performance, Brand Image and Reputation

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most visited cities, thanks to its architecture, history and good climate. However, it is also a city that is suffering from its own success as a tourist destination, as protests against overtourism, Airbnb and tourist apartments have shown. What do the different city rankings say about Barcelona’s success? Let’s explore deeper how Barcelona positions itself on the world stage, drawing insights from data provided by TPBO partners and other reputable institutions.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • Barcelona’s competitiveness and financial performance
  • Barcelona’s brand strength and global attractiveness
  • Livability: Barcelona’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

Barcelona’s competitiveness and financial performance

How attractive is Barcelona as a place to work and do business? 

According to 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023 Barcelona ranks 26th, an impressive jump of 26 positions from the previous ranking. The city now sits in between Atlanta (25th) and Milan (27th).

Barcelona’s brand strength and global attractiveness 

Which subfactors hurt and help the brand of Barcelona

Resonance’s 2023 World’s Best Cities Report ranks Barcelona 8th, scoring the following in the Place Power Score subfactors: 4th in Prosperity, 7th in Lovability, and 1th in Livability. It currently sits between San Francisco (7th) and Amsterdam (9th). It also ranks the following Place Power Highlights: 3rd for Nightlife and 5th for TripAdvisor Reviews.

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report ranks Barcelona 24th, a jump of two positions from the previous ranking. It currently sits in between Dubai (23rd) and Istanbul (25th). Moreover, the city ranks 22nd in the Global Cities Outlook, a jump of seven positions since the previous ranking.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks Barcelona 22nd. In terms of function-specific rankings, the city ranks 34th in terms of Economy, 33rd in R&D, 13th in Cultural Interaction, 4th in Livability, 29th in Environment, and 13th in Accessibility. Barcelona ranks 9th in Variety of WorkPlace Options, 4th in Nightlife Options, and 6th for Number of Retail Shops. Lastly, Barcelona positioned 13th in the Highly-skilled Workers, 32nd in the Corporate Executive, 12th in the Resident, and 13th in the Tourism categories.

According to Brand Finance’s City Index 2023, Barcelona ranks 13th in the global ranking with a score of 73.2/100. The city sits in between Toronto (12th) and Rome (14th).

Livability: Barcelona’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

Which aspects of Barcelona’s urban living make it an attractive place to live, work and study?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Barcelona 48th, sitting in between Yokohama (47th) and Aberdeen (49th). The Mercer Cost of Living Ranking ranks Barcelona 75th, jumping three positions from the previous ranking. It now sits behind Dusseldorf (74th), and above Shenyang (76th). The cost living survey reports that factors such as currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices are key to determine the cost of expat packages for employees on international assignment.

According to the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, Barcelona ranks 3rd out of 56 global cities. It currently sits between Lisbon (2nd) and Brisbane (4th).

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Barcelona 49th overall, sitting in between Denver (48th) and Macao (50th). Barcelona’s pillar rankings are the following: Planet 17th, People 45th, Profit 57th.

Last updated in January 2024. More city profiles here.

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