Top’ cities in the world by quality of life, infrastructure

In order to to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments, Mercer Consulting conducts an annual Quality of Living survey ranking and comparing 215 cities around the world by quality of life and infrastructure. When you look at the list, keep in mind that Mercer is a U.S. company.

Here’s their ranking of cities with the highest quality of life based on the following criteria: Political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, health and sanitation, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing, natural environment (for more detailed criteria and a listing of the top 50 cities, go here):

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Geneva, Switzerland
4. Vancouver, Canada
5. Auckland, New Zealand
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
7. Munich, Germany
8. Frankfurt, Germany
9. Bern, Switzerland
10. Sydney, Australia
11. Copenhagen, Denmark
12. Wellington, New Zealand
13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
14. Brussels, Belgium
15. Toronto, Canada
16. Ottawa, Canada
17. Berlin, Germany
18. Melbourne, Australia
19. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
20. Stockholm, Sweden

The cities with the best infrastructure based on electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transport provision, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports. This may be one of the best indicators of cities with potential to rise:

1. Singapore, Singapore
2. Munich, Germany
3. Copenhagen, Denmark
4. Tsukuba, Japan
5. Yokohama, Japan
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
6. Vancouver, Canada
8. Frankfurt, Germany
8. Hong Kong, China
8. London, UK
11. Sydney, Australia
12. Tokyo, Japan
13. Paris, France
14. Zurich, Switzerland
15. Bern, Switzerland
16. Montreal, Canada
17. Atlanta, USA
18. Toronto, Canada
19. Vienna, Austria
20. Hamburg, Germany
20. Helsinki, Finland
20. Oslo, Norway
20. Stockholm, Sweden

Notice that these cities are predominantly pedestrian-oriented. Coincidence?

Cafe street scene in Vienna, Austria by Orlando Bob.