Düsseldorf City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Düsseldorf is a popular city for Germans and expats alike, thanks to its quality of life. But how does the capital of the German state of North Rhine-Westfalia (which also includes Cologne) fare compared to other – perhaps even livelier cities, in terms of attracting talent, business, visitors?

Let’s take a closer look at: 

  • Düsseldorf’s attractiveness as place to study and work
  • Livability: how good is life in Düsseldorf?
  • How innovative, how sustainable?
  • How sought-after in terms of online searches?

With thanks to our friends and knowledge partners Bloom Consulting, 2thinknow and Resonance Consulting for supporting our city profiles by contributing latest research insights and benchmarking data.


Düsseldorf: how attractive for students and international talent?

The World University Rankings position the University of Düsseldorf within the #201+ range concerning the European Teaching Rankings 2018.

According to the QS Top Universities, Heinrich Heine University’s Pharmacy & Pharmacology field of study ranks within the #101- 150 range worldwide, recognizing a significant number of citations per paper within the subject. The QS Global World Ranking seats the University in the #751-800 range overall.

The Global Talent Competitiveness Index ranks Düsseldorf 37th overall, with sub factors enable (30th),attract (31st), grow (109th), retain (4th) and build global knowledge (63rd).

Whereas the city might not be among the most attractive for talent overall, judging by this study, Düsseldorf boasts an excellent score in terms of talent retention – that is, skilled workers like to stay once they’ve settled in – sitting only behind Valletta (1st), Kiel (2nd) and Bilbao (3rd).

With the purpose of addressing the question of talent in terms of how human capital will determine the next global leaders, Kearney’s 2019 Global Cities Report  ranks Düsseldorf 64th behind Budapest and Lima respectively.


How good is life in Düsseldorf?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking finds Düsseldorf the 6th most livable city worldwide, just behind the likes of Vancouver, Munich and Auckland.

Under a different light, Düsseldorf is more harshly marked by the Nomad List, receiving an overall mediocre score. Though Düsseldorf does well in terms of factors such as walkability, A/C or heating, female friendly, internet, hospitals, places to work from and LGBTQ+ friendly, digital nomads consider it not very fun and boasting only a modest nightlife.


Düsseldorf: how sustainable and innovative?

The Innovation Cities Index ranks Dusseldorf 77th, landing just ahead of Athens (78th) and Budapest (79th). The city took a hit in ranking of 12 positions since the last publication.

Worth mentioning: Düsseldorf is home to the new Vodafone Campus, which has been designed to embrace corporate brand values such as communication, dynamism and connectivity. HPP Architects achieved LEED Gold certification for this purposely designed campus, incorporating sustainable criteria; water and energy efficiency, efficient use of materials and resources and spatial quality. The Düsseldorf-based architects are working to set a new standard of urban design within their city.


Düsseldorf’s online presence

Judging by the D2 Digital City Index (Europe, 2017), Düsseldorf comes 42nd in terms of interest, measured by number of online searches. Results within the study’s talent dimension suggest an elevated interest in study (59%), while work (14%) and live (27%) are considerably lower.


Last updated in June 2020.


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