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Europe’s Most Cramped Cities Revealed

If you’ve ever felt like you have to elbow people around you out of your way just to be able to breathe, now you can find out why – TotallyMoney have conducted research into the amount of space each person has to themselves in cities across Europe.

As well as showing the cities’ areas divided by their population, the research highlights the average size of a property in that city, how much space in a property the average monthly salary in each location can purchase, and what that looks like in real terms – as represented by playing cards.

Ljubilant Slovenians and Italians with Space to Roam in

While Athenians and Belgians find themselves the most cramped (with 133.31m2 and 137.34m2 for each person, respectively, both about half the size of a tennis court), other cities were less dense. For a breath of fresh air, you might want to try living in:

  1. Ljubljana, Slovenia – Not only are properties on the affordable side in the Slovenian capital (fourth cheapest in the research at £2,881 per square metre), they also have 585.51m2 each in the city – about 1.7 times the side of an IMAX screen.
  2. Rome, Italy – When in Rome… Enjoy the 447.13m2 of space available for each person. That’s 9/10 the size of a basketball court.
  3. Bern, Switzerland – The Swiss get 387.78m2 (quarter the size of a hockey rink) to themselves. That’s more than double what Londoners have (where it’s 177.56m2 per person).
  4. Lisbon, Portugal – While locals have plenty of space to themselves – 354.81m2 – they are also among the cities with the lowest salary-to-property price ratio, meaning they can only buy 0.2m2 with a month’s worth of salary..
  5. Nicosia, Cyprus – Nicosia residents don’t share the Portuguese problem – in addition to their 339.72m2 per person, they can afford to buy 0.7m2 with a month of salary, more than anywhere else in Europe. That’s just enough space for an average fridge.

London Living

London fared poorly in the research – not only is it the fourth densest location included, with only 177.56m2 per person (about the size of 150 bath towels), the price of the property was the highest, at £12,930 for a square metre of a house.

To put that into context, it shared the lowest salary-to-property price ratio with Lisbon, Rome, and Paris, despite having the second highest monthly salary in Europe, after Switzerland.

In other words – the only thing London has room for improvement!

Joe Gardiner, TotallyMoney’s Head of Brand and Communications, said: “In big cities, it can feel like you’re surrounded by people – especially if you commute on public transport. But it’s surprising how much disparity there is across Europe in terms of space – and especially that Athens is the most packed.

In terms of prices, it won’t be a shock as to the most expensive locations – London, Bern, and Paris. But we hope this study highlights how far your money can go in other locations.”

For more of the smallest spaces and to see how they all match up when you lay them out next to each other, have a look at the full research on the TotallyMoney website here.

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