Vienna, Austria, has once again ranked as the best place for quality of life for the ninth year in a row, according to an annual ranking compiled by consulting firm Mercer.

The European city was selected due to its low crime rates, public transport links and recreational activities.

The group looked at 450 cities worldwide. The study considered 39 factors including political stability, crime levels, free speech, medical services, education standards, recreational activities, housing costs and the frequency of natural disasters.

Zurich, Switzerland, placed second, and Auckland in New Zealand and Munich in Germany (joint third) made up the top three.

The top ten remained largely the same as last year. Vancouver, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen, Basel and Sydney make up the top ten.

Only Sydney and Munich have changed places. Munich climbed from fourth to third, while Sydney fell from eighth to tenth.

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Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and issues relating to the migrant crisis, Europe dominated the list. The continent had 14 cities placed in the top ten.

However, London, the United Kingdom’s best placed city, fell from 40th to 41st.

San Francisco ranked as the United States’ best city in 30th place. Canada takes the spoils in North America, with four cities (Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) placing above the United States.

Montevideo, Uruguay (77) is the highest ranking city in South America. Singapore offers the best quality of life in Asia. Dubai (74) tops the list in the Middle East and Port Louis, Mauritius (84) is highest in Africa.

Australasia had another good year, with four cities (Auckland, Sydney, Wellington and Melbourne) in the top 20.

What was said:

Slagin Parakatil, Mercer’s Global Product Owner for its Quality of Living research, said:

“How successful an international assignment is hinges on the personal and professional wellbeing of the individual expatriate and the welfare of their families.”

“As well as a significant hinder to a city’s business and talent attractiveness, poor quality of living can considerably impact on an expatriate’s lifestyle. Younger generations, millennials in particular, often have high expectations in terms of lifestyle, leisure and entertainment opportunities. Companies sending expatriates abroad need to get the full picture of conditions on the ground in order to compensate their employees appropriately for any decrease in living standards.”

The Unilever headquarters relocation is a good example of this. For those involved in the Unilever headquarters relocation, staying in London will offer the best quality of life according to the Mercer quality of life rankings. London places 41st, while Rotterdam failed to make it on to the 231-city list.

Top 100: Where does your city rank on the Mercer quality of life index?

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