Vienna top for quality of life

VIENNA still has the highest quality of living, according to new research which ranks it as the number one city in the world to live.

It is the second year running that the Austrian Capital has bagged the top spot.

Mercer’s Quality of Living index showed that people in Vienna have a high quality of life compared to those living in big cities such as London and New York.

The consultancy group conducts the annual survey to help governments and companies to fairly compensate employees when sending them overseas.

Overall European countries continue to dominate the top locations in this year’s survey.

Zurich and Geneva came second and third in the rankings, which are based on an index score of 100 and take political, environmental as well as economic elements of each city into account.

London ranked towards the bottom of the table at 39 out of 50 cities.

“As the world economy becomes more globalised, cities beyond the traditional financial centres are emerging as attractive places in which to expand or establish a business.

Cities in many emerging markets, such as in the Middle East or Asia, have seen a significant influx of foreign companies and their expatriate employees in recent years,” said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.

The research also found that the quality of living standards at most cities remained stable throughout the year but during the first half of the year, the recession had a notable impact on certain regions and countries.

Mercer surveyed 221 cities around the globe and also rated which ones were the most eco-friendly, centering its decision on water availability and drinkability, waste removal, air pollution, traffic congestion and sewage systems.

Canada’s Calgary ranked the highest on the eco-index, with Honolulu, Ottawa and Helsinki following close behind.

Conversely, Seattle, Madrid and New York have the lowest quality of living.