The Austrian capital Vienna has been named the world’s best city to live in for the ninth consecutive year.
Mercer’s 20th annual Quality of Living survey – quoted by The Telegraph – compared 231 major metropolises, examining factors such as crime, healthcare, education, public services, recreation, housing and personal freedom. Mercer is a a New York-based human resources consulting firm.
The top 20 cities have remained almost entirely unchanged, with Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver completing the top five.
Four more German cities (Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Berlin and Hamburg) made the top 20, along with three more Swiss cities (Geneva, Basel and Bern), two more Canadian cities (Toronto and Ottawa), another from New Zealand (Wellington), two from Australia (Sydney and Melbourne) and one each from Denmark (Copenhagen) and the Netherlands (Amsterdam). The only new entry to the top 20 was Luxembourg City, which nudged out Stockholm.
The highest UK city, London, came 41st – down one place since last year, with persistent traffic and pollution problems blamed.
The highest US city, San Francisco, came 30th, but increasing crime rates saw Los Angeles (64th) drop six places.
Singapore (25th overall) and Montevideo (77th) are the highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America, respectively.
Port Louis in Mauritius (83rd) is the top African city for quality of living, followed by the Durban (89th), Cape Town (94th) and Johannesburg (95th).
Propping up the table was Baghdad, followed by Bangui (Central African Republic), Sana’a (Yemen), Port au Prince (Haiti) and Khartoum (Sudan).
The report highlighted big improvements for Eastern European capitals, with Sarajevo’s overall score improving by 21.5 per cent, Bratislava’s by 19.1 per cent, Belgrade’s by 18.3 per cent, and Zagreb’s by 15 per cent.
“The driving factors have been improvements in public services, transportation offerings and personal safety, as well as better availability of recreational facilities and consumer goods,” said Martine Ferland, Senior Partner and President of Mercer’s EuroPac Region. “As a result of increased living standards, a competitive labor market and talent availability, many of these cities have started attracting multinational businesses setting up new operations.”
In Western Europe, Oslo (25th) and Lisbon (38th) rose six and five places, respectively.