Every year, Mercer conducts a Quality of Living survey. Results for 2010 were announced a couple of days ago.
- Vienna, Austria
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Vancouver, Canada
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Dusseldorf, Germany
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Munich, Germany
- Bern, Switzerland
- Sydney, Australia
The first US city on the list is Honolulu, at #31. Singapore, at #28, tops the list for Asia. Central and South America and Africa are no shows, at least among the top 50 choices.
Mercer’s results show Paris, France at #34, a far cry from France’s high rankings on most quality of life indices.
Mercer bases their rankings on “detailed assessments and evaluations of 10 key categories and 39 criteria or factors” including:
- Political and social environment
- Medical and health considerations
- Public services and transport
- Consumer goods
- Economic environment
- Schools and education
- Socio-cultural environment
- Natural environment
Mercer’s goal is to help companies and governments figure out how much to pay their international employees — so they really don’t evaluate the 221 cities on their list in the same way you or I would when choosing a place to live.
You can read more about their methodology here.
This year, Mercer also provided an Eco-Ranking for the first time, rating cities on such environmental concerns as water availability, water potability, waste removal, sewage, air pollution and traffic congestion.
Top 10 Green Cities include:
- Calgary, Canada
- Honolulu, US
- Ottawa, Canada
- Helsinki, Finland
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Minneapolis, US
- Adelaide, Australia
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Kobe Japan and Oslo, Norway (tied)
Singapore again topped the list of Asian cities, coming in at #22. Africa was represented by Capetown, South Africa, #30. South America almost made the list, with Point-A-Pitre, Guadaloupe (one of the Windward Islands in the eastern Caribbean) coming in at #49.
While these lists provide some interesting comparisons and information, don’t take them as gospel in deciding where you might like to live as an expat.
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