Thursday 13 December 2018

Revealed: 2018's best and worst cities to live in (and where Dublin ranks)

Mercer Quality of Living Survey

Danube Canal) of Vienna, Austria. Photo: Deposit
Danube Canal) of Vienna, Austria. Photo: Deposit

Oliver Smith

The Austrian capital of Vienna has been named the world’s best city to live in for the ninth consecutive year.

Mercer’s 20th annual Quality of Living survey compared 231 major metropolises, examining factors such as crime, healthcare, education, public services, recreation, housing and personal freedom.

Mercer's 10 most liveable cities

  1. Vienna
  2. Zurich
  3. Auckland
  4. Munich
  5. Vancouver
  6. Dusseldorf
  7. Frankfurt
  8. Geneva
  9. Copenhagen
  10. Basel

Rounding out the top 20 were Sydney, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Wellington, Melbourne, Toronto, Luxembourg City, Ottawa and Hamburg.

Dublin ranks at 34th on the list, between Calgary and Boston.

The top 20 cities have remained almost entirely unchanged from 2017, with Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver completing the top five.

The pretty city of Zurich, home to many excellent food producers, is built around Lake Zurich. Photo: Switzerland Tourism/ Michel
The pretty city of Zurich, home to many excellent food producers, is built around Lake Zurich. Photo: Switzerland Tourism/ Michel

The only new entry to the top 20 was Luxembourg City, which nudged out Stockholm. The terror attack in the Swedish capital, on April 7, 2017, is responsible for the city’s fall. 

Conversely, the highest UK city, London, came 41st – down one place since last year, with persistent traffic and pollution problems blamed.

The highest US city, San Francisco, came 30th, but increasing crime rates saw Los Angeles (64th) drop six places.

Singapore (25th overall) and Montevideo (77th) are the highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America, respectively.

Port Louis in Mauritius (83rd) is the top African city for quality of living, followed by the Durban (89th), Cape Town (94th) and Johannesburg (95th).

Propping up the table was Baghdad, followed by Bangui (Central African Republic), Sana’a (Yemen), Port au Prince (Haiti) and Khartoum (Sudan).

Zagreb capital of Croatia. Panorama by night (Deposit Photos)
Zagreb capital of Croatia. Panorama by night (Deposit Photos)

Mercer's 10 least liveable cities

  1. Baghdad
  2. Bangui
  3. Sana'a
  4. Port au Prince
  5. Khartoum
  6. N'Djamena
  7. Damascus
  8. Brazzaville
  9. Kinshasa
  10. Conakry

The report highlighted big improvements for Eastern European capitals, with Sarajevo’s overall score improving by 21.5 per cent, Bratislava’s by 19.1 per cent, Belgrade’s by 18.3 per cent, and Zagreb’s by 15 per cent.

“The driving factors have been improvements in public services, transportation offerings and personal safety, as well as better availability of recreational facilities and consumer goods,” said Martine Ferland, Senior Partner and President of Mercer’s EuroPac Region.

“As a result of increased living standards, a competitive labor market and talent availability, many of these cities have started attracting multinational businesses setting up new operations.”

In Western Europe, Oslo (25th) and Lisbon (38th) rose six and five places, respectively.

Cities beyond Europe showing major gains included Shanghai (+15.7pc), Maputo in Mozambique (+15 per cent), New Delhi (+13.8 per cent), Dubai (+12 per cent), Abu Dhabi (+12.1 per cent), Guangzhou, China (+11.4 per cent) and Algiers (+11.2 per cent).

Mercer, a New York-based human resources consulting firm, isn’t the only organisation to produce an annual “liveability” survey.

The Economist Intelligence Unit does likewise, but rates Melbourne at number one, ahead of Vienna and Vancouver.

PwC’s ranking puts London on top, followed by Paris and New York.

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