The 19th annual Quality of Living survey from global consultancy Mercer has revealed the most liveable cities in the world, out of a total of 230. In first place, is a European city that has come out top for the seventh time in a row…

The study is designed to help expats relocating overseas make sure they are being compensated fairly by their companies. “Ensuring that the needs of expatriates and their families are met wherever work takes them is an essential part of talent retention and recruitment strategies for most multinationals,” said Slagin Parakatil, principal at Mercer.

“Managing safety and health issues is of utmost importance, especially for employees who relocate with a family. Our surveys enable companies to take adequate precautions for them,” he said.

lIya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s Talent Business, said: “Heightened domestic and global security threats, population displacement resulting from violence, and social unrest in key business centres around the world are all elements adding to the complex challenge facing multinational companies when analysing the safety and health of their expatriate workforces.”

He added: “Multinational companies need accurate data and objective methods to determine the cost implications of deteriorating living standards and personal safety issues when compensating expatriates.”

In terms of safety, Luxembourg came out top, followed by Bern, Helsinki and Zurich, all tied in second position. The least safe were Baghdad (230) and Damascus (229).

The safest cities in the UK were Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow (joint 44th place).

Due to terrorist attacks or social unrest in the past few years, some European cities have slipped down the rankings in terms of safety with Paris is 71st place, London 72nd, Madrid 84th and Athens 124th.

When it comes to quality of life overall, the cities that came out top in the US were San Francisco (28), Boston (34), Honolulu (35), Chicago (43) and New York City (44).

Canadian cities all rank well for personal safety, with Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver sharing 16th place, whereas no US cities made the top 50 in this respect.

In South East Asia, Singapore came out trumps, in 26th spot, while Kuala Lumpur was next in 86th place. In Eastern Asia Tokyo won, with a rating of 44, while Hong Kong came in at 70. Singapore is also the safest in the whole of Asia at number 8.

Dubai (75) is the best place to live in the Middle East and Africa region, followed by Abu Dhabi (81) and Port Louis (83) in Mauritius.

Here are the top ten cities globally for quality of life…

10. Sydney

9. Copenhagen

8. Geneva

7. Frankfurt

6. Dusseldorf

5. Vancouver

4. Munich

3. Auckland

2. Zurich

1. Vienna

Mercer said living conditions were analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in ten categories:

  1. Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.).
  2. Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services).
  3. Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom).
  4. Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc.).
  5. Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools).
  6. Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.).
  7. Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc.).
  8. Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc.).
  9. Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services).
  10. Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters).

The least liveable cities for 2016 are…

221. Conarky, Guinea

222. Kinshasa, DR Congo

223. Brazzaville, Congo

224. Damascus, Syria

225. N’Djamena, Chad

226. Khartoum, Sudan

227. Port-au-Prince, Haiti

228. Sana’a, Yemen

229. Bangui, Central African Republic

230. Baghdad, Iraq