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Wednesday, 26th May 2010

Lists & Rankings: Quality of Life Worldwide City Rankings, 2010 from Mercer

Mercer 2010 Quality of Living Survey Rankings (Global)

Access the Complete Summary/News Release

Vienna retains the top spot as the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2010 Quality of Living Survey. Zurich and Geneva follow in second and third position, respectively, while Vancouver and Auckland remain joint fourth in the rankings.

Mercer conducts the ranking to help governments and multi-national companies compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. The rankings are based on a point-scoring index, which sees Vienna score 108.6 and Baghdad 14.7. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city, with an index score of 100.

Mercer’s Quality of Living index list was revised and now covers 221 cities compared to 215 last year, which means direct trend comparison will not be possible until 2011. The new selection includes prominent capital and other major cities from across the world currently available in Mercer’s database and better reflects where companies are sending their expatriate employees in the current business environment.

Americas

Honolulu (31) is the U.S. city with the highest quality of living according to the list, followed by San Francisco (32) and Boston (37). Chicago and Washington share position 45 and New York - the base city - is in position 49. Newly added cities Philadelphia and Dallas are ranked 55 and 61, respectively.

In Central and South America, Point-à-Pitre, capital of Guadeloupe and new to the index this year, ranks the highest for quality of living at 62 [although at another place on the list it says it's 49th]. San Juan in Puerto Rico follows at (72) [also listed at 69] and Buenos Aires (78). Havana (192) and Port-au-Prince (213) are the lowest-ranking cities in the region.

So where are all the high ranking cities in the Americas? Canada.

Vancouver is (4), Ottawa (14), Toronto (16), Montreal (21) and Calgary (28)

American and Canadian cities also do well in the eco-ranking both globally and regionally. Calgary is (1). Why?

From the Report Summary:

“Calgary’s top ranking is down to its excellent level of service on waste removal, sewage systems, and water drinkability and availability, coupled with relatively low air pollution.”

The next eco-city on the list is Honolulu (2). The difference between Calgary and Honolulu is .6, six tenths of one point. Back to Canada for Ottawa (3) and finally Minneapolis/St. Paul at (4). Top 50 listed on the web page.

Other Regions

Europe

Europe has 16 cities amongst the world’s top 25 cities for quality of living. They are listed at the top of the post and the bottom of the post.

On the eco-city index, Nordic cities fare particularly well with Helsinki (3) the highest-ranked in the region, followed by Copenhagen (8) and Oslo in joint ninth place with Stockholm.

Middle East and Africa

Dubai (75) in the United Arab Emirates and Port Louis in Mauritius (82) are the region’s cities with the best quality of living.

In the eco-city index, most of the region’s cities rank below 100. The highest-ranking cities are Cape Town (30), Victoria (38), Muscat (48), Johannesburg (54) and Abu Dhabi and Dubai (in joint 65).

Asia Pacific

Auckland (4) retains its position as the highest-ranking city for quality of living in the region. Sydney follows at 10, Wellington at 12, Melbourne at 18 and Perth at 21. At 26, Canberra is new to the index. Singapore remains the highest-ranking Asian city at 28...

With a score of 138.9, Wellington (5) is the highest-ranking eco-city in the region followed by Adelaide (7), Kobe (9), Perth (12) and Auckland (13).

Overall Rankings

Top 10

Again, the base of 100 is New York City,

The list in the news release only shows the Top 50 but 221 cities being ranked. Of course, the complete list is for sale as well as profiles for each city ranked.

1. Vienna (108.6)
2. Zurich (108)
3. Geneva (107.9)
Tie--4. Vancouver (107.4)
Tie--4. Auckland (107.4)
6. Dusseldorf (107.2)
Tie--7. Frankfurt (107)
Tie--7.Munich (107)
9. Bern (106.5)
10. Sydney (106.3)

Eco-Cities

Criteria for 2010 are Water availability, water potability, waste removal, sewage, air pollution and traffic congestion.

1. Calgary (145.7)
2. Honolulu (145.1)
Tie--3. Ottawa (139.9)
Tie--3. Helsinki (139.9)
5. Wellington (138.9)
6. Minneapolis (137.8)
7. Adelaide (137.4)
8. Copenhagen (137.5)
Tie--9. Kobe (135.6)
Tie--9. Oslo (135.6)
Tie--9. Stockholm (135.6)

Additional material including the methodology and more rankings available here.

Source: Mercer

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