Okay…We still got it despite the naysayers…
Vienna has the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2015 Quality of Living rankings. Overall, European cities dominate the top of the ranking along with major cities in Australia and New Zealand. Zurich, Auckland, and Munich are in second, third, and fourth places respectively. In fifth place, Vancouver is the highest-ranking city in North America and the region’s only city in the top 10. Singapore (26) is the highest-ranking Asian city, whereas Dubai (74) ranks first across the Middle East and Africa. Montevideo in Uruguay (78) takes the top spot for South America.
Mercer conducts its Quality of Living survey annually to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Employee incentives include a quality-of-living allowance and a mobility premium*. Mercer’s Quality of Living Reports provide valuable information and hardship premium recommendations for over 440 cities throughout the world; the ranking covers 230 of these cities.
In North America, Canada and the United States continue to offer a high standard of living. Vancouver (5) tops the list for this region, followed by fellow Canadian cities Toronto (15) and Ottawa (16), whereas San Francisco (27), Boston (34), and Honolulu (36) are the highest-ranking US cities. Mexico’s highest ranking city is Monterrey (109), while Mexico City is ranked 126th. The lowest-ranking cities in the North American region are Havana (193) and Port-au-Prince (228).
Perhaps this list only works for Non-Canadians/Expatriates because a Vancouver City report released in October 2014 says Vancouver’s high cost of living is damaging residents’ wellbeing. Almost nine out of 10 respondents to a survey said they would like to own a home but can’t afford to buy one. Many residents have cut their educations short, don’t enroll their children in extracurricular activities and work in jobs they dislike just in order to make ends meet.
Factors such as climate, disease and sanitation standards, ease of communications, and physical remoteness can often affect the success of a foreign assignment. Moreover, the local political and social environment, political violence, and crime may give rise to potentially uncomfortable, inconvenient, or even dangerous situations. To encourage mobility, reliable information is needed to help calculate fair, consistent expatriate compensation for hardship locations.
Well….maybe we would think differently if we lived in Baghdad ranked #230 – and the country ranked last in the world. A little gratitude might be in order.