Vienna Ranks Highest For Quality Of Living.
Vienna took first place – again, for overall quality of living. It is the 8th year running the Austrian city garnered the top spot in Mercer’s 19th annual Quality of Living survey. The ranking was released on Tuesday by Mercer, a global consultant in talent, health, retirement and investments, which produces worldwide quality-of-living rankings annually to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when on international assignments. The remaining top-ten on the list were mostly European cities: Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list this year, in 10th place. Despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, “many of its cities offer the world’s highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment,” the survey noted. The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79), respectively. The bottom three on the list of 231 cities are in the Middle East and African regions: Sana’a, Yemen Arab Republic (229); Bangui, Central African Republic (230); and Baghdad, Iraq (231).
“Economic instability, social unrest, and growing political upheaval all add to the complex challenge multinational companies face when analysing quality of living for their expatriate workforce,” Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s career business, said in a statement. “For multinationals and governments it is vital to have quality of living information that is accurate, detailed, and reliable. It not only enables these employers to compensate employees appropriately, but it also provides a planning benchmark and insights into the often-sensitive operational environment that surrounds their workforce.”
The survey, which included a separate ranking of each city’s infrastructure for the first time this year, called the category “pivotal” in determining overall quality of living for expats. Factors assessed included: reliable electricity; drinkable water; the availability of telephone and mail services, and international flights from local airports; traffic congestion; and access to public transportation. Singapore topped the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in 2nd place. Baghdad (230) and Port au Prince (231) rank last in this category. In the United States, San Francisco was the top-ranked city for quality of living; Atlanta ranked highest for city infrastructure. “In uncertain times, organisations that plan to establish themselves and send staff to a new location should ensure they get a complete picture of the city, including its viability as a business location and its attractiveness to key talent,” Mr. Bonic added.
Credit: Tanya Mohn for Forbes 14 March 2017.
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