Zurich ranks as the world’s top city for quality of life, while London comes in at 39 out of 215 cities, according to a report by Mercer HR Consulting.
Birmingham and Glasgow were jointly ranked 55th and the only other two UK cities to be featured in the annual Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, which is aimed at helping organisations to place employees on international assignments.
Each city is rated on an evaluation of 39 criteria, including political, social, economic and environmental factors, personal safety and health, education, transport and other public services.
Cities are ranked against New York as the base, which has an index score of 100.
London scored 101.2 points, staying in the same position as the previous year.
Birmingham and Glasgow both scored 98.3, climbing one place from the year before.
Dublin has dropped two places to 24, scoring 103.8, mainly due to increased traffic congestion.
Yvonne Sonsino, principal at Mercer, said moving abroad could be very unsettling. “Moving abroad can be a big upheaval for expatriates and their families, so international assignments tend to carry large price tags, particularly if they are in cities with low living standards facing political unrest or terrorist threats,” she said.
“When multinational companies set up expatriate assignments they have to provide attractive reward packages to compensate employees for any negative changes to their quality of living.”
Baghdad was the lowest ranking city in the survey, scoring just 14.5 points.