Lifestyle

(PHOTOS) Vienna tops 2014 'Quality of Living' rankings; Vancouver top Canadian at 5th

Vienna
Vienna's Hofburg Palace, located in the central core, is just one of the elegant backdrops for tourists and locals of Austria's largest city.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons (author Peter Gerstbach)

It's never a shocker when Vienna tops one of these things, but it's happened again...

The Austrian capital – the centre of Europe's high society and a landmark for sophisticated, coffee and opera-loving tourists – was named No. 1 on the 2014 Mercer Quality of Living survey, which ranked cities around the world.

Vancouver, B.C. topped all of Canada and all of North America, coming in fifth place.

In second was Zurich, Switzerland. In third and fourth (respectively) were Auckland, New Zealand and Munich, Germany.

North America faltered behind Europe in Mercer's rankings. Ottawa came 14th, Toronto came 15th, and Montreal finished 23rd, while San Francisco was the top American city at 27th.

Meanwhile, in addition to the three Euro centers in the top five, two German cities – Dusseldorf and Frankfurt – ranked sixth and seventh.

"European cities enjoy a high overall quality of living compared to those in other regions," said Slagin Parakatil, a senior researcher at Mercer.

"Healthcare, infrastructure, and recreational facilities are generally of a very high standard. Political stability and relatively low crime levels enable expatriates to feel safe and secure in most locations. The region has seen few changes in living standards over the last year."

On North America:

"On the whole, North American cities offer a high quality of living and are attractive working destinations for companies and their expatriates," said Parakatil. "A wide range of consumer goods are available, and infrastructures, including recreational provisions, are excellent."

Baghdad, Iraq ranked the lowest, at 223rd.

The survey says a "quality-of-living allowance and a mobility premium" are the two most-important factors in its rankings.

Prominent negative factors include political instability, high crime levels, and elevated air pollution.

Mercer's press release says it "conducts its Quality of Living survey annually to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments."

North American Rankings (2014 Mercer Quality of Living)

BEST

4. Vancouver

Vancouver

14. Ottawa

Ottawa

15. Toronto

Toronto

23. Montreal

Montreal

27. San Francisco

San francisco

WORST

65. Miami

Miami

66. Houston

Houston

67. St. Louis

St Louis

70. Detroit

Detroit

122. Mexico City

Mexico City

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
Call-in meeting to talk Surrey transit
 
New West rallies for family of popular crepe maker
 
Quick action by firefighters prevents blaze from spreading
New facility for UFV opens at Five Corners
 
21-year-old man went missing Saturday
 
Bottling plant eyed for Harrison Mills
Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild
 
Pair of medals for Lauren Barwick at 2014 Games in Para-Dressage
 
Building the outdoor room of your dreams

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 2 edition online now. Browse the archives.