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Survey says: These are the world's best cities

What are the biggest elements to rate a city on? Is it infrastructure? Safety? Local transportation? Traffic congestion? Access to medical care? Water availability? Reliable electricity?

Mercer's 19th Quality of Living Ranking Survey reviews and rates cities on 39 factors that impact quality of living. Spoiler alert: for the eighth year in a row, Vienna comes in first place. The top 10 list is dominated by European cities. 

Why does Mercer conduct this survey and why is it important to those of us in global mobility? 

Many issues can impact the success of a foreign assignment - factors such as climate, disease and sanitation standards, ease of communications and physical remoteness. Additionally, the local political and social environment, political violence and crime can create uncomfortable, inconvenient or even dangerous situations. So, to encourage mobility, reliable information is needed to help calculate fair, consistent expatriate compensation for hardship locations. The information in the survey report allows companies to support employees and helps to evaluate and compare locations across the world.

So, for the eighth year in a row, Vienna has been rated the world’s most “liveable” city. The survey, by consultants Mercer, compares the “political, social and economic climate, medical care, education, and infrastructural conditions such as public transportation, power and water supply.” Oh and “recreational offers”. Personally I wouldn’t rank the power and water supply any higher than most other European cities, but I do agree that there is something very special about Vienna - and not just as a place to live. It is hugely underrated as a tourist destination, and those recreational offers are absolutely outstanding.


international assignments, global mobility, quality of living, factors, hardship locations, allowances, expatriates, compensation