According to The Telegraph, Vienna, Austria, is the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2014 Quality of Living report, while London just scraped into the top 40 in 38th place.
The second-placed city was Zurich, Switzerland, followed by Auckland, New Zealand and Munich, Germany. London came in where it did, largely because of pollution and traffic jams.
The Mercer rankings are designed to help companies compensate their employees fairly with allowances for hardship and inconvenience, depending on where they are posted.
The international consultancy company evaluated living conditions in 223 cities worldwide, ranking each according to its performance across 10 different categories.
Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, said: "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.
Other factors assessed included the level of media censorship, limitations on personal freedom, and the standards of international schools, public transport, housing and health care.
COMMENT: In fifth place was Vancouver, which was the highest-ranking city in North America. Singapore came in on top in Asia, and Dubai came first across the Middle East and Africa. Baghdad, Iraq, is the worst place for anyone to have to relocate to, followed by Bangui in the Central African Republic.
These include Wroclaw, Poland, which ranked 107 in the world and was described as an emerging city.
Manaus, Brazil, ranked 125th, was named as another emerging city. Located in the middle of the Amazon jungle, it is a major industrial center. The report noted that the free economic trade zone of Manaus, which gives it administrative autonomy, has given the city a competitive advantage over others in the region.
Other emerging cities were Cheonan, South Korea, (98th) which is strategically located in an area where several technology companies have operations and Pune, India, which has developed into an IT, automobile manufacturing and education hub.
Ellyn Karetnick, UK head of Mercer’s International Mobility Practice, noted: “Lower ratings on factors such as air pollution and traffic congestion keep London from reaching the top 10."
For a copy of the placement of all 223 cities, send $499 or 363.60 euros to:
Additionally, a full city report can be obtained from Mercer for US$470 or 350 euros.