Vienna tops world’s most livable cities; Baghdad last

For the ninth year in a row, Vienna, Austria, was ranked as the best city on the planet to live in, according to one of the world’s largest human resourcing firms.

The Danube City Tower and the Viennese skyline are seen during sunset from the bathing pond Hirschstetten in Vienna, Austria. File photo by Christian Bruna/EPA-EFE
The Danube City Tower and the Viennese skyline are seen during sunset from the bathing pond Hirschstetten in Vienna, Austria. File photo by Christian Bruna/EPA-EFE

Despite “economic volatility” in Europe due to the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s pending exit from the European Union, Mercer said in a statement many European cities still offer the world’s highest quality of living.

Zurich, Switzerland, was ranked second while Auckland, New Zealand, and Munich, Germany, tied for third. Vancouver, Canada, is fifth.

The highest ranking city in the United States is San Francisco, in 30th place. Boston, Honolulu, Seattle and New York City followed as U.S. cities on the list.

In 2018, Mercer provided a separate ranking for City Sanitation. Honolulu took the first sanitation spot, which serves as an important factor in a city’s attractiveness, Mercer said.

“How successful an international assignment is hinges on the personal and professional well-being of the individual expatriate and the welfare of their families,” Mercer’s Slagin Parakatil said.

“As well as a significant hinder to a city’s, business and talent attractiveness, poor quality of living can considerably impact on an expatriate’s lifestyle. Younger generations, millennials in particular, often have high expectations in terms of lifestyle, leisure and entertainment opportunities.”

Dubai ranked No. 74, topping the list of all cities in the Middle East, and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., ranked No. 77 as the top city in Africa.

Cities like Damascus, Syria, Sana’a, Yemen, and Baghdad, Iraq, were the region’s three lowest-ranked cities for quality of life — with the Iraqi capital at the very bottom of the list, at 231.

Singapore remains the highest ranked city in Asia at No. 25, while Montevideo, Uruguay, was rated highest in South America.

By Sara Shayanian