19 Apr 2017 | 02.12 pm
Which Cities Have Best Quality Of Living?
Mercer’s survey ranks Dublin 34th in world
19 Apr 2017 | 02.12 pm
For quality of living, Dublin is the highest ranking city in the UK and Ireland, according to Mercer’s latest annual rankings, and takes 34th place globally, placing the city ahead of other European capitals such as Paris in 38th place, Lisbon (43), Madrid (51) and Rome (57).
Eight of the top ten cities are European. Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place.
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).
Mercer’s comprehensive survey is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. The surveys also provide hardship premium recommendations for over 450 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 231 of these cities.
Noel O’Connor of Mercer Ireland said: “The success of foreign assignments is influenced by issues such as ease of travel and communication, sanitation standards, personal safety, and access to public services. 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.
“Multinational companies need accurate and timely information to determine if their employees and families will encounter any drop in quality of living when relocating and to ensure that they are fairly compensated for it.”
Most European cities remained stable in the ranking, though Brussels at 27 fell six places because of terrorism-related security issues, and Rome (57) was down four places due to waste-removal issues. Finally, Istanbul fell from 122nd to 133rd place as a result of the severe political turmoil in Turkey in the past year. The lowest ranking cities in Europe are St Petersburg and Tirana (both ranked 176), along with Minsk (189).
O’Connor said that Dublin remains an attractive location for business: “Some of the factors placing Dublin in the top 50 for quality of living worldwide include an excellent choice of consumer goods, lower levels of air pollution, stable political and strong socio-cultural environment.”
In North America, Canadian cities take the top positions in the ranking. Vancouver (5) is again the region’s highest ranking city for quality of living. Toronto and Ottawa follow in 16th and 18th place, and San Francisco (29) is the highest ranking US city, 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 Mexico City is 128th. In South America, Montevideo (79) ranks highest for quality of living, followed by Buenos Aires (93) and Santiago (95). La Paz (157) and Caracas (189) are the lowest ranking cities in the region.
Singapore (25) retains top spot in the Asia-Pacific region, 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), followed by Hong Kong (71), Seoul (76), Taipei (85), Shanghai (102), and Beijing (119).
New Zealand and Australia rank high: Auckland (3), Sydney (10), Wellington (15), and Melbourne (16) all remain in the top 20. By and large, 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.
Dubai (74) remains top city in Africa and the Middle East, up one spot in this year’s ranking, followed closely by Abu Dhabi (79), which climbed three spots. 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.
Individual reports are produced for each city surveyed, and comparative quality-of-living indexes between a base city and host city are available, plus multiple-city comparisons. Details are available from Mercer’s website.