European cities lead the world on quality of life for employees

European cities continue to dominate the top 25 worldwide locations with the best quality of living for workers, annual research revealed today.

The 2010 Quality of Living Survey, from HR consultancy Mercer, surveyed 221 cities and found that Europe boasted 16 cities among the world’s top 25.

Top cities for quality of life

1. Vienna

2. Zurich

3. Geneva

4. Vancouver

5. Auckland

6. Dusseldorf

7. Frankfurt

8. Munich

9. Bern

10. Sydney

Source: Mercer

Vienna retained its 2009 title as the highest ranked city, followed by Zurich in second place and Geneva in third position.

The study, which now covers an extra six cities, is conducted to help governments and major companies compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

In the UK, London ranks 39th, while Birmingham stands at 55 and Glasgow 57. Two new cities have also been added to the UK, with Aberdeen recording 53 and Belfast 63. Baghdad, at 221, remains bottom of the list.

Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer said: “As the world economy becomes more globalised, cities beyond the traditional financial centres are emerging as attractive places in which to expand or establish a business. Cities in many emerging markets, such as the Middle East or Asia, have seen a significant influx of foreign companies and their expatriate employees in recent years.”

Cities with the best eco-ranking based on water availability and drinkability, waste removal and quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion, were also included in this year’s ranking. Canada’s Calgary topped the list and was followed by Honolulu, and Ottawa and Helsinki in joint third.

Parakatil said: “A high-ranking eco-city optimises its use of renewable energy sources and generates the lowest possible quantity of pollution (air, water, noise). A city’s eco-status or attitude toward sustainability can have a significant impact on the quality of living of its inhabitants.

“As a consequence, these are also pertinent issues for companies that send employees and their families on long-term assignments abroad, especially considering the vast majority of expatriates are relocated to urban areas.”








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