Mercer Management Consulting, Inc.'s announced the results of their annual “World Wide Quality of Living Survey”. Mercer’s Quality of Living ranking is conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments and it covers 215 cities world wide.
The rankings are based on point-scoring index. All of the cities are ranked against New York as the base city with the point of 100 as an index score. Mercer also used 39 factors grouped into 10 categories to compute the scores of the cities. The 10 categories are made up of economic, politics, social environment, socio-cultural, health and sanitation, school and education, housing, natural environment, recreation and consumer goods.
This year’s ranking also identifies cities with the best infrastructure based on public transport provision, water availability, telephone and mail services, electricity supply, traffic congestion and international flights range from local airports.
According to the Mercer 2009 Quality of Living Survey, in this year, Vienna (Austria) has passed Zurich (Switzerland) to take the top position as the city with the best quality of living. Geneva is in the third position, while Vancouver (Canada) and Auckland (New Zealand) are now joint fourth in the rankings.
Three cities in Germany which is in the best 10 is Dusseldorf (6), Munich (7), and Frankfurt (8). While the City of Bern (Switzerland) in 9th position and Sydney (Australia) in the 10th position.
Honolulu (29) is the city in the United States with the highest quality of living. Washington and New York remain in positions 44 and 49 respectively.
In Asia, Singapore, at 26, is the top-scoring Asian city followed by Tokyo at 35. Kuala Lumpur and Manila still in their positions at 75 and 131 respectively. Singapore is at 26, up six places since last year, because the city has gained importance as a financial centre and offers a wide range of international and private schools to cater to its expatriate community. Singapore also has the highest position world-wide for the city infrastructure. The city boasts an airport with excellent facilities and connections, as well as an efficient and extensive public transport network.
Jakarta(Indonesia) climbs up six spots from 146 in 2008 to 140 in 2009.
Puneet Swani, Asean Business Leader for Mercer's information product solutions said that Jakarta had improve its internal stability, with a decrease in demonstrations and civil unrest this year. "However, it is worth noting that although law enforcement has become more democratic, civil laws are incomplete and Jakarta still suffers from corruption and racism."
For the Middle East region, Dubai in United Arab Emirates occupying the best position. Dubai reach the rank-77, six-level rise from 83 in 2008. Dubai's transport facilities have witnessed improvements, with the development of its road infrastructure and expansion of its international airport, and the city is up six places in the ranking.
Baghdad (215) retains its position at the bottom of the table, though its index score has increased (from 13.5 to 14.4 in 2009) due to some slight improvements in its infrastructure and steps taken to encourage investment. Nevertheless, the lack of security and stability continue to have a large impact on quality of living.
Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, commented: "As a result of the current financial crisis, multinationals are looking to review their international assignment policies with a view to cutting costs."
"Many companies plan to reduce the number of medium to long-term international assignments and localize their expatriate compensation packages where possible through the hardship allowance, based on quality of living criteria, will remain an essential component of the package." said Parakatil.
10 Best Cities
1. Vienna (Austria)
2. Zurich (Switzerland)
3. Geneva (Switzerland)
4. Auckland (New Zealand) and Vancouver (Canada)
6. Dusseldorf (Germany)
7. Munich (Germany)
8. Frankfurt (Germany)
9. Bern (Switzerland)
10. Sydney (Australia)
10 Worst Cities
1. Baghdad (Iraq)
2. Bangui (Central African Republic)
3. Ndjamena (Chad)
4. Brazzaville (Congo)
5. Khartoum (Sudan)
6. Sanaa (Yemen Arab Republic)
7. Pointe Noire (Congo)
8. Nouakchott (Mauritania)
9. Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
10. Port au Prince (Haiti)