Andrew J. Wein - Dec 17, 2023
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Mercer, a global leader in redefining the world of work, reshaping retirement and investment outcomes, and unlocking actual health and well-being, has released its Quality of Living Index. This index assesses the practicalities of daily life for expatriates and their families working outside of their home country.

Vienna has again retained the top position in this year's Quality of Living city ranking. Zurich closely follows in the second spot, with Auckland and Copenhagen claiming the third and fourth positions, respectively. Geneva rounds out the top five rankings, further highlighting Switzerland's reputation for providing a superior quality of living.

The data denotes that countries with high-quality living standards offer their citizens and expatriates access to excellent healthcare, education, infrastructure, social services, and affordable housing.

Paris, New York City, and London, among the world's largest metropolitan cities with populations over ten million, all rank highly in the top 20% of cities. Although these cities are popular locations for expatriates, they often face some infrastructure challenges due to their size.

Understanding these issues is vital for employers and employees when considering international assignments, as it helps them make informed decisions.

The report has also ranked the most environmentally friendly cities globally in response to employers' growing interest in sustainability. The report highlighted Canberra, Oslo, Adelaide, Helsinki, and Ottawa as top performers in implementing effective measures to reduce air pollution and improve water availability and portability. These cities have made commendable efforts toward achieving sustainability goals.

In Europe, Vienna stands out as the city with the highest quality of living due to its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Zurich ranked second overall thanks to its political stability, cleanliness, and excellent infrastructure.

This year, Vancouver takes the crown as the highest-ranked city in North America (8th overall), offering its residents a unique blend of outdoor recreation and cosmopolitan living, resulting in a high-quality lifestyle. San Francisco (37th overall) is the best city in the United States, with its well-developed infrastructure, pleasant climate, and excellent air quality. Montevideo (89th overall) is the top-ranked city in Latin America.

Dubai (79th overall) and Abu Dhabi (84th overall) in the UAE lead the rankings in the Middle East, both known for their modern infrastructure and diverse expatriate communities. Following closely is Port Louis (88th overall), providing Africa's best quality of living.

Singapore ranks first among Asian cities with the highest quality of life for expatriates and 29th overall, providing a clean, safe environment and highly efficient infrastructure. Auckland (3rd overall) is the highest-ranking city in the Pacific, thanks to its robust healthcare and dynamic cultural scene.

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