Please be aware that updated rankings for quality of living and cost of living from Mercer are available for 2008.
Top 50 Cities for 2007
The Top 50 cities with the best quality of living, according to Mercer.
3. Vancouver (tie)
3. Vienna (tie)
5. Auckland (tie)
5. Dusseldorf (tie)
9. Bern (tie)
9. Sydney (tie)
18. Luxembourg (tie)
18. Ottawa (tie)
24. Calgary (tie)
24. Hamburg (tie)
29. San Francisco
36. Lyon (tie)
36. Boston (tie)
42. Madrid (tie)
42. Osaka (tie)
44. Washington DC (tie)
44. Chicago (tie)
48. New York City
49. Milan (tie)
49. Seattle (tie)
The analysis is based on an evaluation of 39 quality of living criteria for each of 215* cities including political, social, economic and environmental factors, personal safety and health, education, transport and other public services. Mercer Human Resource Consulting performs this assessment on an annual basis to determine living conditions for expatriate employees.
While some dispute that this is not realistic and does not apply to the everyday person, it is important to point out that expats use the same public services, institutions and spaces as locals. Therefore, it is essentially a quality of living analysis for all residents.
In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences, circumstances and options. One man’s castle is another man’s ghetto.
To see the original version of this Top 50 list, click here.
Ranking of all cities surveyed
Mercer surveys 350 cities, however it excludes certain cities that rank consistently and includes others for the sake of diversity or to measure fluctuation in areas of crises or growth (i.e. Baghdad, Beijing).
To see all of the city rankings for 2007, click here.
Although Athens, Greece was found to be the 29th most expensive city in the world, it did not rate in the Top 50 for quality of living and called third dirtiest city in Europe by TripAdvisor. It remains a “city we love to hate.”
The Greek capital was again the lowest ranked city in Europe at number 78. It moved up one spot from #79 in 2006, however it is important to remember it also jumped up 30 places on the cost of living survey. Bottom line, cost of living is outpacing quality of living by quite a large margin.
One could argue that it’s a vast improvement from its ranking of #196 in 2002 before the Olympics, but this is when prices were still relatively low. Greece receives millions in EU funding that could easily land it in the Top 50.