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article imageStudy: Vienna ranked best city to live in, Baghdad ranked last

By Andrew Moran     Nov 30, 2011 in World
Vienna - The city of Vienna, Austria has been ranked first for the best overall quality of living in 2011, according to a new published study. Baghdad, Iraq was placed last in the same survey. European cities dominated the list.
Last year, Digital Journal reported on an annual study that is conducted by Mercer. It suggested that Vienna maintained the best quality of life, while Baghdad received the worst rating. The year prior, Digital Journal reported on similar results.
This year, Mercer published its findings and showed that due to Vienna’s low crime rates, advanced and modern infrastructure, a high-class medical system and general facilities, the Austrian city is ranked the best place to live.
Mercer’s annual study is conducted to assist multi-national corporations and governments worldwide to fairly remunerate their employees when on an assignment in a different part of the world.
2011’s survey analyzes 221 cities and they are ranked against New York City as the base city. Things such as economics, environment, health and sanitation, political environment, nature, housing, public services and education are taken into account.
In a separate survey, Mercer examines cities with personal safety rankings, which are based on data compiled from crime levels, law enforcement, international relations and political stability.
“Companies need to keep on top of current developments to ensure that their compensation packages remain competitive and continue to motivate expatriate employees. That means reviewing major events, such as social unrest, economic turmoil or natural disasters and their impact on the success of overseas placements,” said Mercer Senior Researcher, Slagin Parakatil, in a statement.
“The top-ranking cities for personal safety and security are in politically stable countries with good international relations and relatively sustainable economic growth. Most of the low-scoring cities are in countries with, civil unrest, high crime levels and little law enforcement.”
The top 10 cities (overall quality of life):
1) Vienna, Austria
2) Zurich, Switzerland
3) Auckland, New Zealand
4) Munich, Germany
5) Dusseldorf, Germany
5) Vancouver, Canada
7) Frankfurt, Germany
8) Geneva, Switzerland
9) Bern, Switzerland
10) Copenhagen, Denmark
“European cities in general continue to have high standards of living, because they enjoy advanced and modern city infrastructures combined with high-class medical, recreational and leisure facilities,” said Parakatil.
“But economic turmoil, high levels of unemployment and lack of confidence in political institutions make their future positions hard to predict. Countries such Austria, Germany and Switzerland still fare particularly well in both the quality of living and personal safety rankings, yet they are not immune from decreases in living standards if this uncertainty persists.”
When it came to North America in worldwide rankings, Ottawa was ranked 14th and Toronto was ranked 15th. What was the American city that was finally ranked? Honolulu, which was placed 29th.
The cities with the lowest ranking are Khartoum, Sudan (217), Port-au-Prince, Haiti (218), N’Djamena, Chad (219), Bangui, Central African Republic (220) and Baghdad, Iraq (221).
The top 10 cities (personal safety rankings):
1) Luxembourg, Luxembourg
2) Bern, Switzerland
2) Helsinki, Finland
2) Zurich, Switzerland
5) Vienna, Austria
6) Geneva, Switzerland
6) Stockholm, Sweden
8) Singapore, Singapore
9) Auckland, New Zealand
10) Wellington, New Zealand
More about Mercer, 2011 quality of living survey, Vienna, Baghdad, Living
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