Vienna rated the best world’s best city in terms of quality of living

Today Mercer released their 2014 quality of living worldwide city rankings survey results. The survey which evaluates more than 460 cities using 39 factors grouped into 10 categories is used by many employers to help calculate employee compensation when placing them on international assignments. From these a total of 223 cities are ranked in the survey.

Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer stated “Political instability, high crime levels, and elevated air pollution are a few factors that can be detrimental to the daily lives of expatriate employees their families and local residents. To ensure that compensation packages reflect the local environment appropriately, employers need a clear picture of the quality of living in the cities where they operate”.

The top 5 cities this year are:

  • 1. Vienna, Austria
  • 2. Zurich, Switzerland
  • 3. Auckland, New Zealand
  • 4. Munich, Germany
  • 5. Vancouver, Canada

European cities rank highly this year with the region seeing few changes in living standards over the last year. Most cities within Europe enjoy a high standard of living especially regarding healthcare, infrastructure and recreational facilities. The relatively low crime levels and political stability also enable expatriates to feel safe and secure. Larger cities such as London (38) miss out on the top rankings due to pollution and traffic congestion.

Elsewhere in the world popular expat destinations such as Singapore and Dubai are still playing catch-up with Europe ranking 25th and 73rd respectively. Both were the top ranking city in their region. Here are the rankings for some of the cities we cover:

  • 3. Auckland
  • 5. Vancouver
  • 10. Sydney
  • 15. Toronto
  • 25. Singapore
  • 38. London
  • 43. Tokyo
  • 66. Houston
  • 73. Dubai
  • 81. Buenos Aires
  • 90. Cape Town

Mr Parakatil added: “In a world economy that is becoming more globalised, cities beyond the traditional financial and business centres are working to improve their quality of living so they can attract more foreign companies. This year’s survey recognises so-called ‘second tier’ or ‘emerging’ cites and points to a few examples from around the world. These cities have been investing massively in their infrastructure and attracting foreign direct investments by providing incentives such as tax, housing, or entry facilities. Emerging cities will become major players that traditional financial centres and capital cities will have to compete with.”

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