15 Mar 2017

Amazing Grace: World’s Top Cities to Live

The citizens of Vienna can be really proud of their home because for 8 years in a row the Austrian capital has been voted the top place for overall quality of living. The city was compared to 450 cities from 230 countries around the world in the annual ranking of Mercer.

The company, one of the world’s leading HR consultants, has been conducting the survey for the last 19 years using a base of ten criteria such as socio-political and economic environment, education, health care, natural environment and leisure activities. According to experts, “our ranking is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and is carried out annually to help multinational companies and other employers to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments”.

Europe’s Finest

Vienna, Austria © 2003-2017 Shutterstock

Vienna tops the chart as the city that offers security, stability and good job opportunities for its 1,8 million population. Additionally, the rents and public transportation are a lot cheaper when compared to other West-European capitals. The city stands out for its wonderful and diverse culture: there are theaters, museums, operas and astonishing architecture.

Although Austria is the proud champion of the survey, Germany and Switzerland seem to be the biggest winners – 3 of their cities are among the first 10.

Most of the European cities are generally presenting themselves quite well and keeping steady positions compared to 2016. However, Brussels is dropping down with six positions because of the terrorist attacks, one at an airport and another at a metro station last spring. The Belgian capital is currently at 27th place. Another European capital to lose a bit of its glory is Rome, dropping down with 4 places to 57th. The Italian capital struggled with a very big crisis involving the collection of the city’s garbage, which is known to be controlled by the mafia.

The highest-ranking city across the UK and Ireland is Dublin at 34th position, followed by London on 40th and Edinburgh at 45th.

Saint Petersburg (Russia), Tirana (Albania) are sharing the 176th place and Minsk (Belarus) are the three European cities with the lowest ranking in the continent.


Rest of The World

Auckland, New Zealand, © 2003-2017 Shutterstock

Auckland, New Zealand and Vancouver, Canada are the only two non-European cities that climb up to top positions – 3rd and 5th. Singapore, which is the top Asian-Pacific metropolitan on 25th position is also pointed as the urban area with the best developed infrastructure in the world.

It is interesting that world centers like New York, Tokyo and Hong-Kong aren’t even among the top 30. The Big Apple comes at 44th position, 15 less than the highest-ranking US city – San Francisco. The Japanese capital, which is also often pointed as the world’s most expensive city, is at 49th position, closely followed by Yokohama at 51. Pollution, bad traffic and expensive rents are the reasons financial and economic centers like Hong-Kong and Beijing have quite low ratings, according to Mercer. The two Chinese urban conglomerates are ranked at 71 and 119 position.

Among the African cities, the best representative is Durban in South Africa at 87th position.

On the opposite side of Mercer’s ranking is Baghdad. The terrorist attacks and never ending violence in the Iraqi capital make the city the worst place to live and invest in the world. Curiously, Damascus, the Syrian capital still torn in a civil war, is five positions higher, toping cities from Sudan, Haiti and Yemen.