Have you been dreaming of living in Europe? You may have found a little more incentive to move there. According to Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm, Vienna, Austria has been named the city with the highest quality of living. In addition, only two non-European cities cracked the top ten: Auckland, New Zealand and Vancouver, Canada.
Many of Europe’s cities offer the world’s highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment.
City infrastructure plays an important role when multinationals decide where to establish locations abroad and send expatriate workers. Easy access to transportation, reliable electricity, and drinkable water are all important considerations when determining hardship allowances based on differences between a given assignee’s home and host locations.
Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities: Zurich is in second place, followed by Auckland, Munich, Vancouver, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen, and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place.
In North America, Canadian cities take the top positions in the ranking. Vancouver is again the region’s highest ranking city for quality of living. Toronto and Ottawa follow in 16th and 18th place respectively, whereas San Francisco is the highest-ranking US city (at 29th globally), followed by Boston (35), Honolulu (36), New York (44), and Seattle (45).
High crime rates in Los Angeles (58) and Chicago (47) resulted in these cities dropping nine and four places respectively. Monterrey (110) is the highest-ranking city in Mexico, while the country’s capital, Mexico City, sits at 128. In South America, Montevideo ranks highest for quality of living at 79th, followed by Buenos Aires (93) and Santiago (95). La Paz (157) and Caracas (189) are the lowest ranking cities in the region.
With regard to city infrastructure, Vancouver also ranks highest in the region. It is followed by Atlanta and Montreal, tied in 14th place. Overall, the infrastructure of cities in Canada and the United States is of a high standard, including the airport and bus connectivity, the availability of clean drinking water, and the reliability of electricity supplies. Traffic congestion is a concern in cities throughout the whole region. Tegucigalpa and Port-au-Prince have the lowest scores for city infrastructure in North America at 208th and 231st, respectively. In 84th place, Santiago is the highest ranking South American city for infrastructure; La Paz is the lowest at 168th.
Singapore remains the highest-ranking city in the Asia- Pacific region with a global ranking of 25th, where there is great disparity in quality of living; Dushanbe (215) in Tajikistan ranks lowest. In Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur (86) follows Singapore; other key cities include Bangkok (131), Manila (135), and Jakarta (143). Five Japanese cities top the ranking for East Asia: Tokyo (47), Kobe (50), Yokohama (51), Osaka (60), and Nagoya (63). Other notable cities in Asia include Hong Kong at 71st, Seoul (76), Taipei (85), Shanghai (102), and Beijing (119). There is also considerable regional variation in the city infrastructure ranking. The highest-ranked city is Singapore (1), whereas Dhaka (214) is near the bottom of the list.
New Zealand and Australia continue to rank highly in quality of living: Auckland (3), Sydney (10), Wellington (15), and Melbourne (16) all remain in the top 20. However, when ranked for infrastructure, only Sydney (8) makes the top ten, with Perth (32), Melbourne (34), and Brisbane (37) also ranking well for infrastructure in Oceania. Overall, cities in Oceania enjoy good quality of living, though criteria such as airport connectivity and traffic congestion are among the factors that see them ranked lower in terms of city infrastructure.
Middle East and Africa
Dubai (74) continues to rank highest for quality of living across Africa and the Middle East, followed closely by Abu Dhabi (79). Sana’a (229) in Yemen, Bangui (230) in the Central African Republic, and Baghdad (231) in Iraq are the region’s three lowest-ranked cities for quality of living.
Dubai also ranks highest for infrastructure in 51st place. Only five other cities in this region make the top 100, including Tel Aviv (56), Abu Dhabi (67), Port Louis (94), Muscat (97), and upcoming host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Doha in Qatar, which ranks 96th for infrastructure. Cities in African and Middle Eastern countries dominate the bottom half of the table for infrastructure, with Brazzaville (228) in the Republic of the Congo, Sana’a (229), and Baghdad (230) ranking the lowest.
Are you currently looking to move abroad? Possibly to one of the cities highlighted above? Stevens International would be happy to get you there! They have the knowledge, resources and experience to make it happen. Head on over to their estimate form to get started today!