City living on a small footprint allows residents shorter commutes, often by bike, easier access to amenities and a better work/life balance – but with all the ‘buzz’ of larger urban centres.
It is therefore no surprise that of our 12 tech cities, those that offer the highest quality of life have the smallest populations (see fig. 1).
US cities Austin and San Francisco, both with populations of less than one million, rank first and second. Dublin, a city of just over 500,000 people, ranks fourth. Stockholm, the other city with fewer than one million inhabitants in our top 12 drops down on high cost of living.