Vienna tops 2015 list of the most livable cities on Earth

The 15 Most Livable Cities In The U.S.: see photos

Vienna, Austria, is the most livable city on earth, providing stability and opportunity to expatriates and their employers, according to the 2015 Quality of Living survey released this week by global consultancy Mercer.

Mercer performs this survey each year for the primary purpose of helping multinational companies determine compensation packages for employees on international assignments. Cities are evaluated across 39 metrics in 10 groups, including “political and social environment,” “economic environment,” “medical and health considerations,” “schools and education,” “consumer goods,” and “housing.”

“Taking a short- or long-term work assignment in a new country is both an exciting and challenging experience for employees and their families,” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer, in a statement. “Cultures, societies, and comparatively different climates, as well as political instability, high crime rates, and poor infrastructure can be difficult to navigate and settle down in for employees and their families.”

Parakatil also noted the continued rise of “second-tier emerging cities,” those that are making particular efforts to draw foreign companies by, for example, increased investment in infrastructure.

In addition to Vienna, which remains atop the list for the second year running, Western European cities dominate the upper tier of this ranking of 230 cities, providing tranquil landscapes for expats and their employers, despite, according to the report, “concerns about economic growth.” Zurich, Switzerland, comes in second, Munich, takes fourth place, followed by fellow German cities Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Geneva, Switzerland, and Copenhagen, Denmark, take places eight and nine.

Vienna, Austria, is 2015's most livable city on earth.: Vienna, Austria, is 2015′s most livable city on earth. © Provided by Forbes Vienna, Austria, is 2015′s most livable city on earth.

In North America, Vancouver, Canada, takes top billing, earning spot number five. Toronto and Ottowa also join the ranking in 15th and 16th places.

In the U.S., San Francisco is the highest-ranked city, in 27th place. Boston, Massachusetts; Honolulu, Hawaii; Chicago, Illinois; and New York, New York round out the top five places in the U.S., ranging from spots 34 to 44 on the global ranking.

Asia claims the broadest range of rankings. Singapore, the highest-ranked city, takes 25th place, while Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the lowest-ranked city, takes 214th place.

Asia is also home to several of the “second-tier emerging cities” of which Parakatil spoke, including Cheonan, South Korea; Taichung, Taiwan; and Xi’an and Chongquing, China. While these cities still struggle to provide reliable clean water and combat air pollution, “advances in the telecommunications and consumer sectors have had some positive offsetting effects on their ranking.”

Dubai, UAE, receives the highest marks for quality of life in the Middle East and Africa, taking 74th place overall. Abu Dhabi rings in 77th, and Port Louis, Mauritius. Durban, South Africa, is another emerging city that beats out South Africa’s “traditional business centers” Capetown and Johannesburg. Though still plagued by issues with crime, Durban receives notice for availability of quality housing and consumer goods, and bountiful opportunities for recreation.

Occupying the lowest rungs of the ranking are N’Djamena, Chad; Khartoum, Sudan; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Bangui in the Central African Republic. Baghdad, Iraq, is seen as providing the worst quality of life for expats and employers.

Source: MSN Travel, 03/06/2015

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Sharon Chung

Sharon Chung

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