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Vienna offers best quality of life for expats

Vienna has topped the list of quality of living worldwide city rankings in an annual report.

Each year, Mercer produces the data to help multinational corporations work out packages for the employees they are sending overseas.

Staff are then usually presented with a quality of living allowance that compensates for a drop in standards between home and their new city.

It also makes for interesting reading for the potential expatriates themselves, helping them to understand the situation they will be entering into.

Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, said: "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."

The rest of the top five behind Vienna was made up of Zurich, Switzerland; Auckland, New Zealand; Munich, Germany; and Vancouver, Canada.

European destinations dominated the higher echelons of the rankings, with Singapore getting the best score for an Asian city, coming in at number 25.

Expat hotspot Dubai managed 73rd position, making it the highest achieving location in the Middle East.

In Europe, Vienna was followed by Zurich, Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt, exemplifying the fact that Germany is a good place to live.

Mr Parakatil said: "European cities enjoy a high overall quality of living compared to those in other regions. Healthcare, infrastructure, and recreational facilities are generally of a very high standard."

When it comes to North America, it is Canada that dominates the top spots with Vancouver coming in fifth globally, followed by Ottowa in 14th place; Toronto 15th; and Montreal 23rd. The closest a US city comes is San Francisco at number 27.

As well as ranking the best metropolises, the survey also shows which ones can be found at the bottom, with the majority of these found in the Middle East and Africa. The Iraqi city of Baghdad was ranked the lowest.

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