Despite recent security issues, social unrest, and concern about the region’s economic outlook, European cities continue to offer some of the worlds’ highest quality-of-living, according to Mercer’s 18th annual Quality of Living survey.
- Personal safety key factor in determining expat quality of living
- Vienna ranks highest in overall quality of living
- Luxembourg ranks highest for personal safety; Baghdad lowest
- London ranks 39th in overall quality of living in UK; 72nd in personal safety
The vast region of Asia has considerable variation in quality of living. In 26th place, Singapore remains its highest ranking city, whereas Dhaka (214) is the lowest. Following Singapore in Southeastern Asia is Kuala Lumpur (86).
Other key cities include Bangkok (129), Manila (136), and Jakarta (142). Japanese cities rank highest in Eastern Asia, with Tokyo in 44th place. Other notable cities here are Hong Kong (70), Taipei (84), Shanghai (101), and Beijing (118).
For personal safety, the rankings for Asian cities again vary greatly. Singapore (8) ranks highest overall and is followed by five Japanese cities—Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama—that are tied for 32nd place. Other key cities include Hong Kong (37), Taipei (78), Beijing (97), Seoul (115), New Delhi (142), and Jakarta (172). Following considerable political unrest and terrorist attacks in several tourist areas over the last few years, Bangkok ranked 173rd for personal safety.
New Zealand and Australia have some of the highest quality of living worldwide. Auckland ranks 3rd globally, Sydney 10th, Wellington 12th, and Melbourne 15th. For personal safety, Pacific cities also rank high, with Auckland and Wellington sharing 9th place. Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney share 25th place.
Safety, in particular, is a key factor for multinationals to consider when sending expatriate workers abroad, both because it raises concerns about the expat’s personal safety and because it has a significant impact on the cost of global compensation programmes.
“Heightened domestic and global security threats, population displacement resulting from violence, and social unrest in key business centres around the world are all elements adding to the complex challenge facing multinational companies when analysing the safety and health of their expatriate workforces,” said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and president of Mercer’s Talent business.
“Multinational companies need accurate data and objective methods to determine the cost implications of deteriorating living standards and personal safety issues when compensating expatriates.” Vienna continues its reign in the top spot for overall quality of living, followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), and Munich (4).Vancouver (5) is North America’s highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place.