Austrian capital tops quality of life rankings

Vienna has been named the most liveable city in the world for the ninth consecutive year.

The Austrian capital topped the 20th annual Mercer Quality of Living rankings, with the company citing the city’s high security, well-structured public transportation and a variety of cultural and recreation facilities as reasons for its continued good performance.

Despite economic volatility in Europe due to uncertainty around Brexit as well as increased political volatility in the region overall, European cities continued to dominate the upper echelons of the list.

Zurich was ranked second, Auckland and Munich were joint third, with Vancouver (North America’s highest ranked city) in fifth.

New Zealand and Australia continue to rank highly in quality of living. Not only did Auckland rank third, but it was joined in the top 20 by Sydney (10th), Wellington (15th), and Melbourne (16th).

In 30th place, San Francisco is the highest-ranked US city, followed by Boston (35th), Honolulu (36th), Seattle (44th), and New York (45th).

Dubai (74th) continues to rank highest for quality of living across the Middle East, closely followed by Abu Dhabi (77th), up two places. Meanwhile, Port Louis (83rd) is the highest ranking African city for quality of living followed by Durban (89th), Cape Town (94th) and Johannesburg (95th).

In South America, Montevideo (77th) ranks highest for quality of living, followed by Buenos Aires (91st) and Santiago (92nd). Singapore was Asia’s highest ranked city in 25th position.

Elsewhere, London’s persistent issues with traffic congestion and air pollution saw it drop one place from last year to rank 41st.

At the opposite end of the rankings Middles East and African cities dominated the lower placed cities. N’Djamena (226), Khartoum (227) and Bangui (230) were the lowest ranked in the region. Persistent political instability, poverty, extreme climates and lack of appropriate infrastructure investments means these cities have the lowest quality of living worldwide.

This year, Mercer also provided a separate ranking on City Sanitation, which analyses cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality. The American city of Honolulu topped the City Sanitation ranking, followed by Helsinki and Ottawa in joint second, whereas Dhaka (230) and Port-au-Prince (231) fill the bottom places.

Article published 21st March 2018