London ranks 39th in the world for quality of living because of smog and traffic, says Mercer

Kasmira Jefford
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Early Morning Fog In London
London's fog lets it down in terms of quality of living (Source: Getty)

London may pride itself on being the world’s top financial centre. However the capital falls short in terms of quality of living, ranking just 39th according to Mercer’s latest annual study.

The global consulting firm surveyed 450 cities worldwide based on 38 different factors such as the political and economic environment, public services and healthcare.

London scored highly for recreation and culture, schools, shopping and airport connectivity – even as the debate over a third runway rages on.

However the capital fared worse than others factors such as air pollution, climate and congestion, which pulled it down in rankings.

“Overall, London’s ranking has remained pretty stable and is quite good as large international cities go,” Kate Fitzpatrick, a senior international mobility consultant at Mercer, told City A.M.

Vienna held onto the top spot for overall quality of living, followed by Zurich, Auckland, and Munich. European cities took seven of the top ten places thanks to factors such as healthcare.

In fifth place, Vancouver is North America’s highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place.

The highest ranking UK cities after London were Edinburgh in 46th place, Birmingham, which was ranked 53rd, Glasgow in 55th place and Aberdeen at 59.

Mercer also analysed the personal safety ranking for the top global cities based on internal stability, crime levels, performance of local law enforcement. London was joint 72nd with four US cities including Boston and New York. Luxembourg ranked first.

Ellyn Karetnick, head of Mercer’s international mobility practice in the UK, said: “Quality of living standards remain high across UK and European cities, making them attractive destinations for multinational businesses and their employees."

“In Europe and beyond terrorist attacks and incidences of civil unrest are closely monitored and analysed, and any impact on quality of living for expatriates is reflected in the rankings.”

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