European cities dominate the top 10 worldwide rankings for locations with the best quality of living, according to Mercer’s 2008 Quality of Living Survey.
Zurich retains its 2007 title as the highest ranked city, followed in joint second by Vienna and Geneva, then Vancouver (fourth) and Auckland (fifth).
In the UK, London ranks 38, while Birmingham and Glasgow are jointly 56. Baghdad, ranking 215, retains its position at the bottom of the table.
The survey covers 215 cities and is conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments.
Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, said: “Businesses face constant challenges in identifying new markets, expanding operations and acquiring and strategically deploying resources. Establishing suitable allowances linked to local costs and quality of living is essential in encouraging expatriate employees with transferable skills to accept international assignments.”
He added: “Personal and family safety is of paramount importance when employees consider opportunities overseas. Cities that are, or are perceived as, unsafe may experience difficulties in attracting the best people and skills.”
Multinational companies often compensated for this by increasing pay levels and other benefits for their employees, Parakatil added.
Top 10 cities