Austrian capital Vienna emerged as the city with the best quality of living in the world, while Hyderabad, ranked 138th, was the best Indian city to live in, according to the Mercer Quality of Living Rankings 2015 released on March 5,2015.
Overall, European cities dominate the rankings along with major cities in Australia and New Zealand, according to the Mercer website.
Zurich (Switzerland), Auckland (New Zealand) and Munich (Germany) are in the second, third, and fourth positions respectively. In the fifth place, Vancouver (Canada) is the highest-ranking city in North America and the region’s only entry in the top 10.
Singapore, in 25th place, is the highest ranking city in Asia.
Among Indian cities, Pune (145) came in second to Hyderabad. Both cities rank higher for quality of living than the country’s more traditional business centres, Mumbai (152) and New Delhi (154). Considerable rise in population in Mumbai and New Delhi in the last few decades has increased existing problems, including access to clean water, air pollution and traffic congestion.
Sri Lankan capital Colombo, with a rank of 132nd, is the city with the best quality of living in South Asia, while Japanese capital Tokyo (44) topped the ranking among East Asian cities.
The report also took note of the emerging cities in East Asia: Cheonan (98) in South Korea, and Taichung (99) in Taiwan.
Chinese cities Xi’an and Chongqing (both ranked 142nd) are also emerging as business destinations. Their main challenges to improving quality of living standards are clean water provision and air pollution.
However, advances in the telecommunication and consumer sectors have had some positive offsetting effects on their ranking.
Despite concerns about economic growth, the cities of western Europe continue to offer a stable environment for employees and employers. Western European cities take seven places in the top 10. The lowest ranking cities in western Europe are Belfast (63) in Northern Ireland and Athens (85) in Greece.
San Francisco (27), Boston (34), and Honolulu (36) are the highest-ranking US cities.
Dubai (74) ranks highest for quality of living across the Middle East and Africa region.
Ranked 230th, Baghdad is the lowest ranking city in the region and on the overall list.
The annual survey is conducted to “help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments”.
Slagin Parakatil, principal at Mercer said: “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.”