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| 1 minute read

Which city is the most (and least) attractive to workers

If someone asked me which city I would most want to live in the world, I would have to take some time to consider. When traveling with co-workers or family, many times I have been heard saying, "I could totally live here!" 

But getting a little more scientific and metric-based, the AIRINC Global 150 Cities Index aggregates and weights a variety of data and provides an overall ranking of global cities.

The data looks at three unique categories:

  1. Financial ranking: Salary, tax, cost-of-living and currency considerations which helps identify the net-purchasing power
  2. Lifestyle ranking: Taking into account living conditions and social benefits, physical threat and safety levels related to crime/violence/medical, discomfort and inconvenience (isolation, housing, recreation available goods and services, and education)
  3. Overall attractiveness: This is a combination of the above two categories

So, what are the 10 most attractive cities overall in the world?

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Geneva, Switzerland
  3. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vienna, Austria
  6. New York City, U.S.
  7. Berlin, Germany
  8. Toronto, Canada
  9. Calgary, Canada
  10. San Francisco, U.S.

However, when you look solely at "Financial Scores" or "Lifestyle Scores", results look a little bit different:

Top 10 Cities Based on Financial Scores

  1. Manama, Bahrain
  2. George Town, Cayman Islands
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Geneva, Switzerland
  5. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  6. Kuwait City, Kuwait
  7. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  8. Macau, China
  9. Amman, Jordan
  10. Seattle, U.S.

Top 10 Cities Based on Lifestyle Scores

  1. Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Vienna, Austria
  3. London, U.K.
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Berlin, Germany
  6. Copenhagen, Denmark
  7. Geneva, Switzerland
  8. Toronto, Canada
  9. Melbourne, Australia
  10. Dublin, Ireland

The rankings certainly highlight smaller European cities and there is a lack of APAC cities represented in these top 10 lists. However, with salaries and improving lifestyles in the APAC region, there is the expectation that those cities are gaining on the pack.

Not listed above were the five worst places in the world. According to AIRINC they are, Port Moresby, P.N.G; Port au Prince, Haiti; Blantyre, Malawi; Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Maputo, Mozambique.

AIRINC’s Global 150 Cities Index is a ranking of 150 of the top global locations according to the financial and lifestyle benefits they offer. It combines local salary levels, tax rates, living costs, and living conditions to assess how appealing each location is to live in. The data is collected by AIRINC’s own in-house survey team, who continuously research the costs and living conditions of many cities around the world to evaluate international mobility.


global mobility, expatriate, lifestyle, rankings, cities, attractiveness, airinc, apac, europe, financial, cost of living, salary levels, hardship, quality of living, taxes