Mercer recently revealed its 2017 Quality of Living City Rankings. In a repeat performance of the last eight years, Vienna tops the list as the most liveable city in the world. German and Swiss cities flood the top 10, with guest appearances from the likes of New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
Mercer’s study examined social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment of 231 cities. The results are often used by blue chip companies to assess how much they should pay staff and where they should open a new office and relocate.
Many who live or have visited Vienna agree it is a very special city. The country’s 1.8 million population benefit from the city’s cafe culture and museums, theatres and operas. Public transport costs in the city are cheap compared with other western capitals. Even renting a home in one of the many beautiful Hasburg empire buildings around the centre is a fraction of the price of a dingy apartment in other European cities.
Taking second place in the rankings is the thriving metropolis of Zurich. With clean streets and public transport that runs on time, the restaurants, galleries, bars and cafes come as an added bonus for those living in the Swiss city.
Making up the top 3 is Auckland, New Zealand. It’s fourth year in third position, the City of Sails is championed for its safety, affordable housing, fantastic education and ease of doing business.
The remaining top 10 rankings were taken by Munich, Vancouver, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Basel.
Many may be surprised not to see global centres such as New York, Tokyo, Paris and London in the top 10. However, they failed to even make the top 30. Paris fared the best, coming in 38th place. London took the 40th spot, with New York coming in spot 44 and Tokyo, spot 47.
The bottom 20% of cities ranked are mostly African, Middle Eastern or South American. Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, took the bottom placing. This result is unsurprising due to the threat of terrorism and general lack of safety in the country. The poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen, ranked just two positions above Baghdad.
Taking the 230th ranking is the Central African Republic’s largest city, Bangui. Political and economic turmoil throughout Africa has seen other cities rank poorly, including Khartoum in Sudan, N’djamena in Chad, Brazzaville in Congo and Conakry in Guinea.
Durban is the best performing South African city in spot 87, whereas Tunisia takes the best spot for North Africa in 114th position.