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Named: the best city to live in Spain

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This Andalusian city can now boast it keeps more of its population happy than any other place in Spain. Photo: Leo Hidalgo/Flickr
17:39 CEST+02:00
With 96 percent of its residents telling a European Commission survey they were "satisfied" with their city, a southern Spanish city has beaten both Barcelona and Madrid to claim its throne as the best place to live in Spain.

The Andalusian city of Malaga can now boast it keeps more of its population happy than any other place in Spain.

In fact, Malaga ranks among the most valued places on the continent, behind Aalborg in Denmark (99 percent), Hamburg (98 percent), Zurich, Oslo, Copenhagen and Groningen in Holland (all four scoring 97 percent).

However, the ‘Quality of Life in Cities 2013’ report does reflect a lower level of satisfaction among ‘Malageños’ and its expat population when it comes to public services, as only 50 percent of them said they considered they had quality public services.

The results for job satisfaction in Malaga were equally as unimpressive: 55 percent; no surprise keeping in mind that the unemployment rate in Andalusia is the highest in the EU at 36.6 percent.

All the way up in the northern Spanish region of Asturias is the city of Oviedo.

The Urban Audit survey, a European Commission research group, concluded 94 percent of its residents were satisfied with life in the city.

They highlighted Oviedo’s public transport system, its schools, its parks and its health centres.

The northern Spanish city took an impressive second place on the European rankings for public spaces with 79 percent.

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Oviedo also scored higher than Malaga for safety (94 percent) and job satisfaction (63 percent).

So although it seems Oviedo offers its population an even higher quality of life than its southern rival, people in Malaga may just have taken top spot because they’re more easily satisfied.

Oh, spare a thought for Athenians, who with 52 percent were the least satisfied city dwellers in Europe. 

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