Quality of Life Experienced by Human Capital: An Assessment of European Cities


This paper aims to provide an assessment of urban quality of life (QoL) of European cities from the perspective of qualified human resources. The competitiveness of cities relies increasingly in their capacity to attract highly educated workers, as they are important assets for firms when choosing a location. Qualified human resources, on the other hand, tend to value QoL over other urban features. This is why policymakers and urban planners need to evaluate QoL of cities and be provided with tools that can guide action to improvements in this area. We assess urban QoL by means of a composite indicator constructed using data envelopment analysis, based on Urban Audit data and Mercer’s framework of analysis, to give account of 246 European cities. Besides presenting a ranking of the best and the worst scores of QoL, this methodology allows benchmarking strategies.

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Correspondence to Paulo Morais.



See Table 6.

Table 6 Composite indicator for each city

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Morais, P., Miguéis, V.L. & Camanho, A.S. Quality of Life Experienced by Human Capital: An Assessment of European Cities. Soc Indic Res 110, 187–206 (2013).

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  • Quality of life
  • Human capital
  • Data envelopment analysis
  • Composite indicator