London is the most desirable city to work in the world, according to a survey of more than 200,000 people from 189 countries by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Nearly one in six of those surveyed (16%) want to work in London, which beat New York and Paris to the top spot.

The UK was the second most appealing country for international jobseekers after the United States, with 37% stating they want to work in the UK, compared with 42% for the US. Canada was the third most desirable country, with 35% of those surveyed stating they would consider moving there for work.

Decoding Global Talent is the most expansive study into global talent mobility ever undertaken. Overall, the survey found that almost two in three jobseekers worldwide (64%) are willing to move abroad for work. Globally, occupation has a big influence on mobility. Nearly three quarters (72%) of people who work in engineering and technical jobs would move abroad. Those in tightly regulated fields are the least mobile, with half of people (50%) in social care and just over half (56%) in health and medicine considering work abroad.

People who live in countries that are still developing economically, or where there is political instability, are more likely to want to work abroad than those who live in countries with high per-capita incomes, where willingness to work abroad is usually tied to experiential factors.

In part because of the current strength of the UK economy, only 44% of British people want to move abroad for work. Those that do favour English-speaking and European countries; 32% of British people say they would like to relocate to the United States, followed by Canada (25%), Germany (25%), Australia (23%) and France (23%). Conversely, 61% of Portuguese and Israeli respondents want to work in Britain, followed by Barbados (59%), Romania (58%) and Jamaica (57%).

Mike Booker, International Director at and one of the study’s co-authors, said: “This report cements London’s reputation as a truly global city. Not only does it offer a wealth of job opportunities in a range of industries, but it boasts some of the world’s top cultural attractions, so it’s no surprise that people across the globe want to come and work here.

“In light of this report, employers must take a more global approach to recruitment. As the workforce is so mobile, companies will have to compete globally to attract the best talent, making sure that they target the right groups and differentiate their recruitment strategy.”

The report reveals that broadening experience is the most important reason that jobseekers across the world want to work abroad, with nearly two in three (64%) people stating this as the first reason for considering a role abroad.

Rainer Strack, BCG Senior Partner and one of the study’s co-authors, said: “It’s a world in which the geographic barriers to employment are coming down, including in the minds of some of the most talented and highly educated workers. This is opening up significant opportunities for individuals and for the many countries and multinational companies that are facing talent shortages of one sort or another.”

Intrinsic rewards are more important than financial considerations as the most important determinant of workplace satisfaction more generally. Globally, survey respondents cite ‘appreciation for their work’ as their number one priority, while UK respondents cite ‘good relationships with colleagues’ and ‘good work-life balance’ as the most important factors.

The data gathered for Decoding Global Talent provides insights into worker attitudes by gender, marital status, education level, salary level, and a person’s hierarchy in an organisation. For further information regarding the survey (and a comprehensive insight into the data), please visit