It doesn’t get much better for expats living in Vienna, Austria. For the eighth year in a row, the city has taken out top spot on Mercer’s Quality of Living index.
“Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the eighth year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities,” said Mercer.
“Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in tenth place.”
Mercer said that despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, many of its cities continued to offer the world’s highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment.
The only non-European cities in the top ten were Auckland, Vancouver and Sydney at third, fifth and equal tenth respectively.
Of other major cities in Australia and New Zealand, Wellington and Melbourne maintained their ranking in the top 20 for another year, coming in at 15th and 16th respectively.
“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,” Mercer said.
Aside from Vancouver in fifth place, Mercer said Toronto and Ottawa also fared well, coming in at 16th and 18th place respectively.
In the US, San Francisco was the highest ranking US city at 29th, followed by Boston (35), Honolulu (36), New York (44) and Seattle (45).
Mercer said that high crime rates in Los Angeles (58) and Chicago (47) resulted in these cities dropping nine and four places respectively from a year earlier.
Outside of Oceania and North America, the highest ranking city in Asia was Singapore at 25th. Montevideo, at 79th, was the deemed to have the best quality of living for expats in South America.
While those destinations were deemed to be more desirable than most, at the other end of the spectrum, Baghdad in Iraq took at the unenviable title as having the lowest quality of living for expat workers, nudging out Bangui in the Central African Republic and Sana’a in Yemen for bottom spot.
This map from Mercer shows the top and bottom ten cities for expat workers in 2017.
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