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2011 Quality of Living Worldwide Rankings

02 December, 2011 09:32  Erin Erin

enjoying the life together © Alina Isakovich - FotoliaQuality of life is determined by a combination of independent factors. Cost of living, safety, job opportunities, transportation options, and more all are elements in leading to the best quality of living. Mercer's Quality of Living survey helps to identify leaders and seeks to provide governments and multi-national companies with information. The survey covers 221 cities and provides a detailed list.

Quality of Living Factors

Mercer evaluated living conditions in 220 cities worldwide on 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:

  1. Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc)
  2. Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services, etc)
  3. Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom, etc)
  4. Health and sanitation (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
  5. Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools, etc)
  6. Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion, etc)
  7. Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
  8. Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
  9. Housing (housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services, etc)
  10. Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

Top 10 Cities with Highest Quality of Life

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Auckland, New Zealand
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Düsseldorf, Germany & Vancouver, Canada
  6. Frankfurt, Germany
  7. Geneva, Switzerland
  8. Bern, Switzerland & Copenhagen, Denmark
  9. Sydney, Australia
  10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

For the first time, the survey separately identifies cities with the highest personal safety ranking. This was based on internal stability, crime levels, law enforcement effectiveness and the host country's international relations.

  1. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  2. Bern, Switzerland & Helsinki, Finland & Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Vienna, Austria
  4. Geneva, Switzerland & Stockholm, Sweden
  5. Singapore, Singapore
  6. Auckland, New Zealand & Wellington, New Zealand
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark
  8. Düsseldorf, Germany
  9. Frankfurt, Germany
  10. Munich, Germany

Baghdad has the lowest quality of living, and ranks lowest in Personal Safety ranking.


European cities dominate in the worldwide quality of living rankings with only Auckland and Vancouver making the top 10.

"European cities in general continue to have high standards of living, because they enjoy advanced and modern city infrastructures combined with high-class medical, recreational and leisure facilities" said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.

Several cities ranked in the top 10 for both Quality of Life and safety including Zurich, Vienna and Auckland. The top-ranking mainland U.S. city was San Francisco; with the top Asian city as Singapore; the top Middle East/Africa city was Dubai.


Read the full report here:


StarYou will find a tool to compare cost of living in different countries on (explanations here).


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