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Germany ranked world's fourth best place to live
Quedlinburg was among the magazine's favourite German cities. Photo: DPA

Germany ranked world's fourth best place to live

Published: 08 Jan 2010 15:14 GMT+01:00

The land of beer and bratwurst came in behind five-time first place winner France, followed by Australia and Switzerland, based on categories such as cost of living, culture and leisure, economy, environment, health, infrastructure, safety and climate.

Many ex-military Americans enjoy retiring in Germany because it isn’t overrun with youth culture, according to the rankings.

“Techno-throb Berlin and numerous summer rock festivals refute that, but this is the land of Goethe and Beethoven. Theatre, art, and classical music concerts aren't considered elitist,” the report said.

Quality health insurance, high average wages, and quality infrastructure are also an important draw.

“In Germany, everything works and works well,” it said.

Sports and nature lovers also find themselves at home at Teutonic national parks and hiking trails, which even include a specialist trail for nudists, the magazine continued.

Christmas markets and fairy tale towns add a bit of whimsical appeal for romantics, and affordable real estate – even in posh spa towns like Baden Baden – make Germany among what the magazine called a “great” standard of living.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:55 January 8, 2010 by hggal298
No surprise to me! Isn't that why we live here as expats?
16:44 January 8, 2010 by West_Indian
Yeah if you ent an Auslander, Germany would be tops or i'm not seeing the big picture?
16:47 January 8, 2010 by Thames
Tell me something I don't know. However, as the globelists and pushers of multi kulti nonsense continue there work at destroying Germany's culture we won't be able to say the same thing in 20 years time.
17:52 January 8, 2010 by Fredfeldman
Germany will indeed be over shortly along with the rest of Europe. It will be their own fault - as the middle east wars reach a critical mass the europeans are being caught with their pants down wondering why Uncle Sam couldn't protect them the way he always has in the past. "We have seen the enemy and he is us." (Pogo).
18:01 January 8, 2010 by OkieinBerlin
¦quot;In Germany, everything works and works well,¦quot; it said.

-- hmmm, I don't think that these guys have ever really lived here...
18:10 January 8, 2010 by martell
"High average wages"??? Where in Germany? And over 50 % off from the income for taxes, healthcare and pensions? Plus increasing prices for everything?
21:47 January 8, 2010 by kent
that report is nothing more than BOGUS PROPAGANDA , hogwash

the tax structure is insane, prices are waaay to high because of artifically inflated tax structures.

real estate is a JOKE 200,000k for a small two bedroom APARTMENT in munich when that same cash will buy you a HOUSE withL;AND in the burbs of sacramento california near the mountains with driving distance of san fran and napa.

military retirements i have met some of those guys they just enjoy riding their harleys and like the none gun culture and the fact that the cops are not cowboys cant say i blame them for that and is one of the main reasons i am over here.
22:36 January 8, 2010 by So36
Yes, go live in the suburbs of Sacramento. Enjoy.
01:18 January 9, 2010 by frankiep
Comparing the SUBURBS of Sacramento with a large and extremely cultural city like Munich is ridiculous. Hell, comparing Sacramento itself with Munich is ridiculous also.
02:49 January 9, 2010 by sc123
I would much rather live in munich than in sacramento, let me ask you kent what exited has ever happend in sacramento it is a backwater city have fun there
06:15 January 9, 2010 by wood artist
Surveys such as this are always going to generate questionable results, largely because they assume some things not apparent to everyone.

If you live in the US, and do not have health care the German system, regardless of taxes, looks pretty darn inviting. If you live in parts of the US where Spanish has become the local language, you might well feel that living in Germany, where German is the official language, looks pretty good, even if you can't speak it worth a darn. If you live anywhere, someplace seems to have things better.

In the UK people continually complain about the National Health Care system, but they only have that for comparison. Sure it's not perfect, but it's a bunch better than the mess in the US.

So yes, Germany has its problems, just like everywhere else. But looking in from the outside, those problems might seem minimal to those which we live with every day. The S-Bahn looks pretty good (most the time) compared to a complete lack of such service in most US cities.
06:25 January 9, 2010 by Bushdiver
I'm not retired military but have lived here for 42 years. I don't agree that the cost of living, climate or economy is better here than in the states. For one, most average German workers have a take home pay of €1,300 to €1,500 approx $1,900 to $2,200 a month. The prices here for practically anything you buy or rent are way higher than in America. An American in the US earning $1,300 to $1,500 a month can live much better than what a German can on his take home pay. The tax situation here is plain crazy and there's no end in sight to the tax madness. I would agree that it is safer here than in the US although the Germans don't tend to report all the crimes like they do in the US. I think what has kept me here all these years hasn't been my sole love of Germany but the fact that I can travel to most parts of Europe in hours.
08:38 January 9, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
I come from the UK but I've spent half of my adult life in Germany. I don't live in Munich but in Augsburg where real estate is reasonable. I'm not sure that comparing Germany and the US or UK is relevant. The wages and taxes vary greatly across countries. In the UK, the disposable income seems higher but the indirect taxing on petrol, alcohol, etc. is ridiculous. OK; you can argue that there are life choices there but consider the methods of taxation in the UK are devious: its a one pot system whereas in Germany at least you get some insight on where your deductions are going.

For me its not the cost but the quality of living that is much higher in Germany. My kids are in education under the Bavarian system and the quality,breath and control mechanisms of the curriculum are of a quality not seen by my sister's kids, both of whom are going to a semi-private, church school which my sister had to move house to get access to.

Describe the health care process to someone from the UK and their jaws drop: "What, you can just make an appointment with a cardiologist in your high street?" Yep, no lengthy wait for appointments at the hospital here. The NHS, bless it, is awful in comparison to Germany and, no I am not privately insured here. Good old DAK!

To the comments on housing. UK: Bad construction, no cellars, lack of controls over internal modifcations! I started out in Germany in low income jobs and my first flat here was crap but every residence I've had since has been way better than anything I lived in the UK. Never been to Sacremento but the San Diego region was certainly comparable to, if not more expensive than Munich. Oceans and mountains will always add a premium - hence my residency in Augsburg. Could Augsburg be the Sacremento of Bayern? :)
10:27 January 9, 2010 by Steviegee
hey guys, Germany isn¦#39;t such a bad place, its just full of German¦#39;s LOL. I am a brit and have lived here since the early 80ties. The only problem that I have experienced is its bureaucratic nonsense and political setup, but I guess we are in a way, responsible for that. Apart from that it isn¦#39;t much different to any other industrialised country. Perhaps you would like to read see these statistics which give a clearer picture of many aspects of the country¦#39;s infrastructure.


13:29 January 9, 2010 by allhappy
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:13 January 10, 2010 by pumbaadpig
I would have to agree with this article on some of the living conditions. Although Internet Infrastructure SUCKS! I think it's a good place tolive if you FIT IN. It doesn't take into account people who are a little darker than tan living in a little Dorf that may have few minority residence except for a few Asian Brides, that it may take some adjustment. Despite the criticism of racism in the U.S. and growing up in the south most of my life, I never really experienced it or felt it until I moved here to Germany. But hey, what do we "Murikans" do...Kill Em with Kindness! =D
13:04 January 10, 2010 by DK_India
I kind of agree with the rating for Germany, not sure if this would stay the same in the coming years though!

cost of living - definately not that high, when you compare to the rest of Western Europe and UK & Swiss.

culture and leisure - preserved well

economy - is among the top economies, but I am skeptical to say if this would stay so, in the next 5 years or so. People are less risk taking, mentality of savings in all the Germans, this is not the best attitude in the times of recession. If Germany adapts to the dynamic attitude required to sustain in today's global world, it would do much better in the future.

environment, health: policies are people-friendly, makes some people too lazy, since they have more than basics without having to struggle for it. Younger people have it easy and served ready food hot on the table, might make them more lazy as compared to their ancestors.

infrastructure - Good, No or less population keeps the infrastructure going for years, without needing to expand.

safety - It is a safe country.

climate - sucks, but with the global warming, you cannot use this as a basis for comparision!

All in all, I view this rating appropriate, esp. cause rating is always comparative analysis and in that I think Germany stands well at 4th rank. Even though, if you ask Germans, you would see them cribbing about Infrastructure, etc etc...You have to have experience in developing and other developed economies to be able to justify your argument!
19:21 January 10, 2010 by Fränkische Ami
I've been living in Germany since the early 90s after I left the US Army and I love it. Sure there are some things I don't like -excessive gun control, fishing permit matters. But the good outweighs the bad by far. You Germans need to stop complaing about your healthcare system it's the best!!! The beer is the best!!! The centuries old culture is great also. There is always something to do or see.
20:33 January 10, 2010 by John Beck
I would agree with this article if you were a white Caucasian with a good paying job then Germany may be a good place to live in. However, if you are a minority, with a dark skin then Germany becomes a living hell where you will experience discrimination, Neo-Nazism first hand and where your pregnant wife may get stabbed 18 times. Yeah right! Germany is a good place to live in my A$$.
09:43 January 11, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
>> "Neo-Nazism first hand and where your pregnant wife may get stabbed 18 times"

Not exaclty an everyday occurence though is it? I'll agree that Germany, like most EU countries is not good at integration but that issue applies to the caucasions from the East just as much as a dark skin.
10:14 January 11, 2010 by authun
Nice place to live for the most part - a horrific crap place to work, aside from the vacation.
13:54 January 11, 2010 by mixxim
Living in bavaria,the ladies in their Dirndl's make it number one for me....
14:41 January 11, 2010 by Johnne
thanks mixxim:) I live in Munich..although very expensive, I love it! I lived in Mannheim for 4yrs, there´s no where like Bavaria and honestly, Munich is different or let me say "sweet" I´m black and I love it. I love Glasgow as well:)

friendly people,great life,beautiful women:)wonderful city!
15:45 January 11, 2010 by dbert4
All of you that keep comparing Germany to the US and find it lacking, it's because you don't live in the States. You've been watching too much TV, the US isn't all of that. It's a, "Casino Capitalist" society where everyone believes that they too will someday to wealthy, just like on TV. Until the next bubble bursts and the payments come due on your home equity loan which they're using to finance they're "better than European" lifestyles. The US is a big multi-level marketing scam...... and you Amis that have been hiding out in Germany for what, 42 years? Have been drinking too much beer to realize it.
01:17 January 12, 2010 by TigerEye

Remember that Vichy French volunteers worked with the Germans in WW II to defend Europe against the Internationalists.

It was because of WW I that the southern French refused to loose another whole generation of their son's like they did in the trenches of WW I that they became sympathetic with the Axis in WW II. They were also severely punished (and executed) by their own government as traitors because they defended their home land against the pro Allied exiled French.

Many people don't know about the noble sacrifice they made.

They were brave in that conviction. No?
01:23 January 12, 2010 by Squeeze
I just came to Dresden Germany from the states; a suburb of Cleveland Ohio to be exact. Cleveland used to be one of the biggest cites in the US -- known mostly for steel--until all the jobs went overseas. There's no public transport in my town, close to 11% of the population is completely unemployed, and historical buildings are torn down to make way for drug stores and Wal Marts.

I am sure Germany is not perfect, but for some of us, the grass here truly is greener.
14:56 January 12, 2010 by trottercarriagehorse
West_Indian . .thats a good one- sure as long as you are german germany is great, but god help you if you are not.

And who was the one who said the only problem with germany is the germans. after fiftenn years I have to say sad but true. . it must have been one of britisch guys, who seem to have stronger preformed opinions on the matter than us open opened americans. . Give any american 15 years in germany and he will start thinking of himself as a POW. .
03:53 January 14, 2010 by Eastard
What I find amazing is that most of you miss the greatest attribute of Germany... It is the beer... combined with comman man food... American and UK beers are slowly getting better but they still have a long way to go with the overall drinking/eating experience in Gernamy... There are too many people with too many cars and building... however everything is right and orderly with no immitation anythng... I take may hat off to the history of, creation of, and maintenance of a quality drinking experience...
23:28 January 14, 2010 by lordwilliams629
Eastard I've been to germany and the UK and far as eating nobody beats america I'm sorry but our citys have more choice's in ethinic and traditional american food then any country in the world. Go to chicago and get a chicago style pizza, or if you like greek food go down to greek town, if like thai,chinese, japanese food you name it and most of it's good quality. See for some of you who comment and never been here just remember we are not some place that only has a McDonalds on every street corner as london does, no we have some very good eating establishments. And as far as unemployment we have ALWAYS had lower unemployment than germany and the rest of europe, even in these hard times.
11:49 February 26, 2010 by fluffoid
I don't know where the author gets their information from. Even if one grows up in Germany, one can end up as a social pariah and still get equated as an Ausländer most of ones life. I think these quality of life surveys are totally bogus anyways. You can sooner get evicted and end up in court simply because someone doesn't like your attitude in Germany than anywhere else on this planet. If you want law suits for existing as a human being, this is the place to be. They have ways of making your life hell, you have to yet imagine. I blame a general cultural narcissism on this insufferable attitude. Gradually this planet is becoming a social garbage heap anyways. I am sick and tired of only seeing the well off and privileged being able to vent on how so wonderful living on this planet is. And the prosperity and avarice one sees and is excluded from ritually only makes a person unnecessarily sour. You people are just a bunch of over-pampered endorphine junkies getting off on the sickening exclusivity of your own success(es). Hard work and honesty only gets you in one place, the consumerist refuse depot with the rest of the Nassmüll and Bioabfälle .
11:13 April 30, 2010 by frauelein
Comment: I lived more than 30 years in the west part of Germany,also some time in California and Latin America. There is definitely racism against people with dark skin in all of these countries. Ridicoulus, even when the country has a huge dark skinned population. I compared directly the treatment in public of family members with dark skin and family members with blonde hair.Imagine how disgusting it can be observing it when people dont know that you are related.White Germans are still the mayority in Germany, that is why i observed more racism there than in other places i have been.We have almost no crime in this german region, food costs and monthly rents are low but it is not easy to deal with racism.For example when supermarket employees answer or yell rude and impatiently,beeing at the same time friendly to all the other white customers.Most people just treat "Ausländer" unequally or they simply dont have any private contact to them.Exeptions are made if they are learning their language to improve their chances on the job market. There is almost no diversity in most of surrounding me Germans private life,High School, at University,at work.They simply dont have friends with another skin colour or origin.Why not?The members of my sport club even talk about someone and call him or her just with an depreciating tone in their voices"die/der Ausländer/in da" "this foreigner".I observe it even in the in-law family: the word "Turks or Kanake" represents every dark skinned or southern foreigner,they simply dont like them-they also dont like white persons with russian or other eastern europe origin and white Americans or British dont form part of these depreciated foreigner groups-they distinguish different classes of foreigners/human beings. Deep inside i get sad or angry and of course i think "would you treat me equally, without my blonde hair and are you realizing what you saying, i am also only half german and half foreigner"?!
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