Which European cities score high in quality of Life?
American human resource consulting firm Mercer has just released its 2014 world ranking on the best cities to live in, and European cities grabbed three spots out of the top five.
Mercer’s 2014 ‘Quality of Living’ survey ranked 223 cities around the world in terms of quality of living for expats. The survey used 39 factors grouped into 10 categories in their index, these are:
- Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
- Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services)
- Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
- Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
- Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools)
- Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc)
- Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
- Consumer goods (availability of food, cars, etc)
- Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
- Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)
For the fifth year in a row, Vienna, Austria topped the Mercer survey. Other European cities that have made the top 10 are Zurich, Switzerland (2nd), Munich, Germany (4th), Dusseldorf, Germany (6th) and Frankfurt, Germany (7th).
Mercer said European cities appeared on top of the list because of high standards in healthcare, infrastructure and recreational facilities. Safety promised by prevailing political stability and relatively lower crime rates also make the cities ideal for expats.
Other major European cities scored way behind cities from Canada, Australia and New Zealand: Berlin was ranked 16th, Paris 27th, London 38th, Madrid 50th and Rome 51st.
In Asia, the top five countries are Singapore (with a global ranking of 25th) and the Japanese cities Tokyo (43rd), Kobe (47th), Yokohama (49th) and Osaka (57th).
Meanwhile, Mercer revealed that the world’s bottom five countries are: Brazzaville, Congo, Sana’a, Yemen Arab Republic, N’Djamena, Chad, Bangui, Central African Republic and Baghdad, Iraq.
A similar survey was conducted last year by the European Commission. In their study, researchers surveyed 41,000 Europeans who rated their cities in terms of satisfaction with quality of life.