Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Archive for June, 2008

Athens, Greece: Quality of living ranking 2008

Mercer announced the Top 50 cities for best quality of living in 2008. Greece did not make the top 50, and Athens at #77 was again the lowest ranked city in western Europe for standard of living, as has been the case for several years.

There is a more recent article at “Athens, Greece: Quality of living 2009.”

Top 50

1. Zurich, Switzerland
2. Vienna, Austria – tie
2. Geneva, Switzerland – tie
4. Vancouver, Canada
5. Auckland, New Zealand
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
7. Munich, Germany – tie
7. Frankfurt, Germany – tie
9. Bern, Switzerland
10. Sydney, Australia
11. Copenhagen, Denmark
12. Wellington, New Zealand
13. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
14. Brussels, Belgium
15. Toronto, Canada
16. Berlin, Germany
17. Melbourne, Australia – tie
17. Luxembourg, Luxembourg – tie
19. Ottawa, Canada
20. Stockholm, Sweden
21. Perth, Australia
22. Montreal, Canada
23. Nurnberg, Germany
24. Oslo, Norway
25. Dublin, Ireland – tie
25. Calgary, Canada – tie
27. Hamburg, Germany
28. Honolulu, Hawaii (USA)
29. San Francisco, CA (USA) – tie
29. Helsinki, Finland – tie
29. Adelaide, Australia – tie
32. Singapore, Singapore
32. Paris, France
34. Brisbane, Australia
35. Tokyo, Japan
36. Lyon, France
37. Boston, MA (USA)
38. Yokohama, Japan – tie
38. London, UK – tie
40. Kobe, Japan
41. Milan, Italy
42. Barcelona, Spain
43. Madrid, Spain
44. Washington DC, USA – tie
44. Osaka, Japan – tie
44. Lisbon, Portugal – tie
44. Chicago, IL (USA) – tie
48. Portland, OR
49. New York City, NY (USA)
50. Seattle, WA (USA)

The analysis is based on an evaluation of 39 quality of living criteria that include political, socio-cultural, economic and environmental factors, personal safety and health, education, transport and public services, recreation, housing and availability/affordability of consumer goods. Mercer Human Resource Consulting performs this assessment on an annual basis to determine living conditions for expatriate employees.

While some dispute that this does not apply to the everyday person, it is important to point out that expats use the same public services, institutions and spaces as local residents. Therefore, it is essentially a quality of living analysis for everyone.

Of course “quality” is subjective, not necessarily definitive. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, circumstances and options. One man’s castle is another man’s ghetto.

To see the Top 50 cities on the survey compared to last year’s ranking, click Top 50.

Quality of Living Ranking 2008

Mercer has 350 cities in its database, but narrows the survey to only 215 cities and selection changes annually. To see if your city in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe or America made the list and how it fared, click 2008 Mercer Quality of Living Ranking. Quality of living for Greece (Athens) is found at #77; no change from last year, although cost of living continues to rise, up four places from 2007..

I also found an interesting interactive table by International Living that, although it lists no protocol or explanation, allows you to select by country or by element. Click, “Quality of Life Index.”

Related posts

Cost of Living in Greece 2008: Still on the rise
Minimum salary vs. cost and quality of living in the EU
Benefits of living in the EU vs. USA

Birthplace of what?

Do you know who Nino is? I actually like some of his music, so this is not a criticism of him, but two thoughts come to mind when I see things like this:

a) “Get some new material” — a popular saying from one of my American friends in Athens, who is victimized by the same tired jokes or insults. There’s nothing creative or classy about ripping off other people’s ideas or repeating the same limp stuff.

b) Please, my brutha — How can a Fame Story contestant compare to international starlet Nicole Kidman?

Inspiration is one thing, as I understand originality is in short supply. But at least change something like the T-shirt color, and make it yours in some small way!

Thaumata – Nino


Nicole Kidman for Chanel No. 5


* This post was inspired by De Masame Re’s “O δρόμος της εύκολης λύσης – και της μικροαπάτης” and “G is for Gentlemen – δηλαδή μόνο για κυρίους.” These posts are just two examples of the unoriginal copycat behavior that is rife in Greece.

* Hat tip to my one-man PR team in Athens.

Bugs and beaches: At home in Athens

Our home in the southern Athens is close to the mountains and minutes from the beach, which many believe is an envious location. I’m not convinced.

Sure, I like the sight of trees from my window, the walking trail and the open fields next door where I can hear “the nightbird” (gionis) birp all night. But as it looks more like summer, our area is choked with more traffic, more pulsing music at all hours and more bugs.

Read the rest of this entry »

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