Vienna tops quality of life survey


Couples at the opening ceremony of Vienna's 54th annual Opera Ball on Feb. 11, 2010.



Vienna, Austria, is the best place to live in the world, according to the 2011 Quality of Living survey from global consulting firm Mercer.

According to MoneyWatch:

Mercer conducts the annual survey to help corporate clients determine whether they need to provide hardship pay for employees who get stationed in the world's worst cities – this year that would be Baghdad and Bangui in the Central African Republic.

The 221 cities in the survey were ranked based on 39 factors, CNN reported, including relationships with other countries, traffic congestion, schools, housing, climate, recreation, internal stability and economic factors.

European cities occupy more than half the slots in the top 25, Bloomberg News reported.

“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,” Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, said in the report, Bloomberg News reported. “Economic turmoil, high levels of unemployment and lack of confidence in political institutions make their future positions hard to predict.”

No city in the United States cracked the top 10, leaving it to Vancouver, Canada, (No. 5) to represent the Americas in that elite group.

The highest-ranked U.S. cities are Honolulu (No. 29), San Francisco (No. 30) – tied with Adelaide, Australia, and Paris – and Boston (No. 36).

The 10 countries that have the best quality of life, according to the Mercer survey: (1) Vienna, Austria; (2) Zurich, Switzerland; (3) Auckland, New Zealand; (4) Munich, Germany; (5) Dusseldorf, Germany; (6) Vancouver, Canada; (7) Frankfurt, Germany; (8) Geneva, Switzerland; (9) Bern, Switzerland; and (10) Copenhagen, Denmark.

The 10 worst cities in which to live, according to the Mercer survey: (1) Baghdad, Iraq; (2) Bangui, Central African Republic; (3) N'Djamena, Chad; (4) Port-au-Prince, Haiti; (5) Khartoum, Sudan; (6) Sana'a, Yemen; (7) Tbilisi, Georgia; (8) Brazzaville, Congo; (9) Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire; and (10) Nouakchott, Mauritania.

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