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The world’s best city for ‘broke millennials’ is right here in the UK

Thinking of moving? Here's a good place to start

The world’s best city for ‘broke millennials’ is right here in the UK
Tom Victor
10 January 2018

If you’re sick of everyone bemoaning ‘millennials’ as the people to blame for anything and everything, you’re not alone.

Adults of a certain generation are giving up on buying houses and going on holiday instead, and this has ruffled the feathers of those who think they can tell these youngsters how to live their lives.

The response from some people has been to lose all sense of logic and coherence, doing things like launching ‘snowflake tests’ and claiming folks could afford a house if they just spent less on sandwiches.

Other suggestions include something as simple as moving out of big cities or leaving the UK, but it turns out that might not be necessary.

That’s a deposit on a two-bed right there

A new MoveHub study has gone out in search of the best cities for ‘broke millennials’ to move to if they’re considering upping sticks in 2018.

London was the third-worst on the 32 cities included in the study, with only Dublin and Sao Paulo faring worse.

Among the criteria involved in determining the best and worst cities were:

  • Rent as percentage of income
  • Price of a monthly ticket on public transport
  • Density of cheap eats
  • Deutsche Bank’s ‘Safety Index’
  • Price of a cappuccino (because you have to include at least one cliché in these things)

Each city was given a score out of 100, based on data from Deutsche Bank, Numbeo, Expatistan, TripAdvisor and the UN, with London’s high rents and expensive travel earning it a measly 47.5.

But you knew London wasn’t cheap – you want to know where to move to, not from, so here are the top 10.

You’re ready to move, but where?

10. Warsaw, Poland – 69.51/100

Those working in the Polish capital have a lower average income than most, with The Independent reporting that average monthly rents for a one-bed flat are almost half the £806.14 average salary. However, you make a good amount of that back through cheap travel (just over £20 per month) and that regular cappuccino will set you back just £1.88.

9. Melbourne, Australia – 70.00

One of only two non-European cities in the top 10, Melbourne residents spend, on average, less than 30% of their monthly income on rent. Part of that comes down to wages being higher there than in most of the other cities included in the study, at just shy of £2,500/month. Still, fewer cheap eats per 100,000 people mean the world’s most liveable city is only the eighth best for broke millennials.

8. Mumbai, India – 70.84

Average wages in the Indian city might be significantly lower, but rent goes down proportionally if you’re prepared to take the nine-hour journey and make your home there. And that’s before you even get started on the £9 monthly travel and £1.50 frothy coffees.

7. Copenhagen, Denmark – 71.12

Less than a third of your salary goes towards rent in the Danish capital, though that cappuccino will set you back more than £4, so maybe switch to espresso for a little while. Copenhagen ranks fifth on the safety index, while cheap food is plentiful even if the beer isn’t quite as wallet-friendly.

6. Helsinki, Finland – 73.86

Another city with a good earnings-to-rent balance, Helsinki has the same things going for it as Copenhagen. However, there are a couple of major differences: you guessed it, cheaper travel and cheaper coffee, to the point where you can probably afford to drop your travelcard into your venti cappuccino and barely notice.

5. Madrid, Spain – 74.17

Finally, a city which is both (a) warm and (b) not actually that far away. Spending just over £500 to rent a one-bed flat near the city centre might even gain points when you can spend more of the year wandering out into a public square for a sangria or ten. £1.48 coffees can’t hurt, either.

4. Prague, Czech Republic – 77.33

Prague is a popular choice with millennials from across Europe, and we get why it might be somewhere people would choose as an escape from London’s rents and prices. There’s cheap travel and affordable food aplenty, while its safety index rating of 11 puts it above a lot of other cities on the list.

3. Berlin, Germany – 78.25

If you are a ‘broke millennial’ yourself, you probably already know someone who has moved to Berlin. It’s an obvious choice, by virtue of being cheap (rent is just 25.64% of income, the lowest of all 32 cities in the study) and having a lot going on. Oh, and you’ll be able to get away with speaking English across most of the city because the locals are nice and welcoming like that.

2. Vienna, Austria – 78.85

Vienna isn’t known for being that affordable, but low rents and public transport costs of barely a tenner a week put that myth to bed. Cappuccinos might cost you a little more, at £2.75 a pop, but you can make up the difference with the range of cheap food options across the Austrian capital. Flights to and from the UK aren’t too pricey, either.

1. Edinburgh, UK – 82.95

Far and away the leader in opportunities for broke millennials, Edinburgh might seem like a surprise chart-topper. However, the Scottish city scores well across the board. Less than one third of your £1,739.89 salary will go towards rent, while the food is cheap and the coffee isn’t outrageous. You don’t have to even leave the UK, either, which is nice. Getting to Edinburgh in the first place, via the notoriously expensive East Coast line, though, might wipe you out before you even get started though.

(Images: Pexels/iStock)