Madrid City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Madrid is a cultural gem, drawing visitors to experience its renowned museums, vibrant culinary scene, and lively nightlife, earning its rank as the third most visited city in Europe. Situated centrally in Spain, Madrid as the country’s capital serves as a gateway to the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Europe, attracting a multicultural crowd fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Madrid’s strategic urban investments have enhanced its livability, making it a sought-after destination with abundant opportunities for residents and professionals alike.

How do these characteristics influence Madrid’s performance in the different indices that rank cities according to their economic, social and environmental characteristics?

Let’s take a closer look at what leading rankings say about:

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

Madrid’s competitiveness and financial performance

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

The Global Financial Centres Index 35 ranks Madrid 48th between Lugano (47th) and Hamburg (49th) and gives the city a respectable FinTech ranking of 56th.

Madrid is ranked 19th in 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023, climbing an impressive 21 positions to sit between Sydney (18th) and Amsterdam (20th).

Madrid’s brand strength and global attractiveness

Which factors hurt and help the brand of Madrid? 

Resonance’s 2024 World’s Best Cities Report places Madrid 13th between Prague (12th) and Berlin (14th). The report highlights that, as Spain’s capital, Madrid strives to renew its infrastructure and public assets. Most notably with the largest current urban regeneration project in Europe, the Madrid Nuevo Norte.

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report ranks Madrid 12th between Chicago (11th) and Shanghai (13th). Similar to other Southern European cities, Madrid’s ranking has improved significantly and may potentially enter Kearney’s top ten in future reports.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks Madrid 14th between Vienna (13th) and Shanghai (15th). In function-specific rankings, Madrid performs well in Livability (2nd), Cultural Interaction (7th), Accessibility (14th), and Environment (15th).

Brand Finance’s City Index 2023 positions Madrid 23rd between Geneva (22nd) and Vienna (24th), reinforcing Madrid’s overwhelmingly positive reputation and brand.

Livability: Madrid’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

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

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Madrid 46th between Yokohama (47th) and London (45th). The same company’s Cost of Living Ranking places the city at 83rd between Brazzaville (84th) and Brisbane (82nd). Compared to other European cities, Madrid offers affordable, high quality of living. 

In the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, Madrid ranks 7th between San Francisco (8th) and Adelaide (6th). The city ranks highly in Migrant Acceptance, Quality of Coworking Spaces, and Average Rental Cost for a 1-Bedroom Apartment

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Madrid 28th between Philadelphia (29th) and Antwerp (27th). Madrid’s pillar rankings are the following: Planet 38th, People 9th, Profit 48th. The report indicates that the city provides an excellent quality of life and urban living.

In 2024, the Times Higher Education ranking placed the Autonomous University of Madrid in the 251-400 bracket, Complutense University of Madrid in the 501-600 bracket, and Carlos III University of Madrid in the 801-1000 bracket. The QS World University ranking positions Complutense University of Madrid 171st, the Autonomous University of Madrid 199th, and Carlos III University of Madrid 319th.

Last updated in April 2024. More city profiles here.

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