Quality of Life Ranking Shines Light on Europe
The 2010 Quality of Living survey from consulting giant Mercer revealed that many European cities again topped the list of the best places to live. Taking the top slot was Vienna, Austria, followed by Zurich, Switzerland, and Geneva, another Swiss city, in third. After that, Vancouver, Canada, and Auckland, New Zealand, tied for fourth. The best U.S. cities ranked were Honolulu and San Francisco.
The list uses New York as a base with an index score of 100, and ranks 221 cities, up from last year’s 215. In the U.K., the three cities that ranked high are: London, Birmingham and Glasgow. In Asia Pacific, Singapore ranked high, landing at 28 on the entire list, with Tokyo coming in at 40. The worst city, at 221, was Baghdad.
The 2010 ranking also included an eco-list, with the best cities ranked according to water availability and drinkability, waste removal, sewage systems quality, air pollution and volume of traffic. The best city on the eco ranking was Canada’s Calgary, followed by Honolulu in second, Ottawa and Helsinki tied at third, followed by Wellington (NZ), Midwestern state Minneapolis, Adelaide (AU), and Copenhagen. Three cities tied for ninth place–Kobe, Oslo and Stockholm, while the site of the major Caribbean earthquake, Port-au-Prince, was the worst on the list.
Overall, Europe ranks the best, with 16 of the top 25 cities, followed by Canada, which dominates the North American presence, and then scattered rankings from American and Asian cities, with the Middle East, Latin America and Africa ranking further down on the list.