Amsterdam is the best city for Millennials to relocate to, reveals Nestpick


Throughout the year, many surveys are published on the best cities for expats to relocate to. Few are especially relevant to Millennials, who have different expectations from older generations.

Apartment-searching website Nestpick has emerged with perhaps the first study dedicated to Millennial needs specifically: the Millennial City Ranking. The 100-strong index of the cities most relevant to today’s twentysomethings shows that all but one in the top 10 are European destinations.

Top of the pack is liberal Amsterdam, a city with enduring appeal throughout the generations, followed by German hipster hotspot Berlin and Munich:

  1. Amsterdam
  2. Berlin
  3. Munich
  4. Lisbon
  5. Antwerp
  6. Barcelona
  7. Lyon
  8. Cologne
  9. Paris
  10. Vancouver

Explaining the Millennial City Ranking, Nestpick MD Ömer Kücükdere says:

Millennials travel more at a younger age than any of their preceding generations; this gives them the possibility to find the perfect city for their personal needs. With aging populations cities must cater to the Millennial demographic in order to sustain a thriving economy.

(I’d love to know what Boomers make of that last comment.)

Nestpick used the following unique criteria, on top of the usual such as housing and employment scores, to rank and compile their list of dream cities (and I’m not making this up):

  • the affordability of 500ml domestic beer
  • the number of music festivals per capita in and around the city
  • access to contraception
  • the number of Apple stores per capita
  • levels of tourism within a city
  • internet speeds

Thankfully, Nestpick have made it possible on their website to identify top scoring cities in each category.

Accordingly, we see that Beijing is best for both 500ml beer (I personally recommend the wonderful Great Leap Brewery, once you are able to locate it deep inside a hutong neighbourhood) and contraception (so go easy on that cheap beer), Geneva is best for Apple stores, San Francisco is best for startups, and Berlin is best for clubbing.

It might all seem like a bit of fun, but young people in growing numbers do talk of relocation, and major world cities are seeing a rise in the cost of living. There may be an interesting shift in the years to come, as talent moves to traditionally less appealing cities.

Millennials move abroad for purpose and prospects, confirms HSBC Expat Explorer Survey

Kiyomizu-dera, Kyoto

HSBC has announced its 2016 Expat Explorer Survey findings. The report is HSBC’s 9th and focuses this year on “Achieving ambitions abroad.”

Singapore and New Zealand were again first and second best destinations overall for expats, respectively, pursued by new top five entrants Canada, Czech Republic and Switzerland. Sweden, Bahrain and Germany meanwhile saw a decline compared to the year before, while managing to stay in the top 10 (Bahrain slipped from a lofty 4th in the 2015 survey):

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Canada
  4. Czech Republic
  5. Switzerland
  6. Norway
  7. Austria
  8. Sweden
  9. Bahrain
  10. Germany

The report (PDF downloadable here) represented the views of 26,871 expats in 190 countries. In their foreword, HSBC explains this year’s theme:

This year’s findings suggest that whatever you are seeking in life, whether it is finding more fulfilment in your career, immersing yourself in a new culture, buying a property or getting access to better education for your children, expat life can help you reach that goal.

One such goal for many is meaning or fulfilment. The report says that just under a quarter (22%) of Millennials aged 18-34 move abroad to find purpose in their career, ahead of Generation X (14%) and Boomers (7%). Furthermore, 43% of Millennials are most likely to move abroad to pursue a new challenge, as opposed to 38% of Generation X and 30% of Boomers.

Interestingly, the report reveals that Japan (22%), Taiwan (22%) and the UAE (20%) are the three destinations with the highest proportions of expats overall who moved to find purpose. Japan recently featured strongly in Monocle’s 2016 Quality of Life survey, with Toyko, Kyoto and Fukuoka all in the top ten.

But it’s not just purpose that drives Millennials. Old-fashioned ambition appeals as strong as ever, with 37% saying they embraced expat life to improve job prospects. This is ahead of Generation X (25%) expats and just 12% of Boomers.

Most Millennials planning to leave their city, says Youthfulcities

Aircraft wing tip

Speaking with young friends in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and London, it’s apparent to me that Millennials in advanced economies across the globe share the same concern – and I’m not referring to finding elusive Pokemon Go characters. In short, the cost of living is too high, they are fed up, and they are anxious to get out. Hongkongers ask me what it’s like to live in London; young people in London meanwhile look for an exit of their own.

This was confirmed recently in a survey by Youthfulcities, an organisation helping cities understand and engage Millennials. The Urban Millennial Survey, now in its third year, found that 58% of Millennials say they will leave their city in the next decade because of affordability concerns, limited employment opportunities and safety. Furthermore, only 17% of Millennials feel that their city governments are listening to them.

The survey gauged the opinions of 15,000 young people aged 15-34 (are 15 years olds “Millennials”? Anyway…) in 34 cities worldwide, and described the demographic shift of young people voting with their feet as a “global phenomenon”:

From the perspective of Millennials, there are no negative consequences to their increasing mobility. It opens up more opportunities, experiences, learning and self-development. Youth may leave for short-term opportunities like post secondary education, short term jobs or travel and then return to their cities. They may be tempted to leave for good.

It’s a fascinating read, and an important one. Young people are our present and our future, yet the current reality is not pretty for many. Based on experience, I would suggest the following to Millennials: leave. Pack your bags, and get out!

There can be no negative consequences. See and experience the world, and do it now. Make connections across the globe and embrace different cultures. Join the digital nomads tribe, and live life on the cheap selling what you know best, from social media consulting to teaching English or something new and wondrous. It might not be easy (it most likely won’t be), but it would make more sense than grinding it out in a city whose interests lie elsewhere. Why stay?

Young British entrepreneurs more ambitious, says report


Young British entrepreneurs are more confident and ambitious than older counterparts, at least according to the Albion Growth Report released by venture capital investor Albion Ventures.

Despite this, they are 5 times more likely to fail at raising finance, resulting in 25% reportedly using a credit card to finance their company. They are also more likely to admit to experiencing skill shortages than older entrepreneurs.

The Telegraph wrote (rather scathingly) that young entrepreneur high ambitions could mean they are delusional rather than talented.

Do you agree?