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Every year Mercer, one of the world’s largest HR consultancy firms, releases its Quality of Living Index, which looks at which cities provide the best quality of life.
The ranking is one of the most comprehensive of its kind and is carried out annually to help multinational companies and other employers to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments, according to Mercer.
London and New York do not make it anywhere near the top of the list.
Looking at 450 cities across the world, Mercer takes into account the following metrics to judge which cities made the list for the best quality of life:
- Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement)
- Economic environment (currency-exchange regulations, banking services)
- Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
- Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution)
- Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools)
- Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion)
- Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure)
- Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars)
- Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
- Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)
Here are the top 21 cities on the planet, according to Mercer.
Lianna Brinded contributed to an earlier version of this post.
21. Perth, Australia — Australia has some of the highest quality of living worldwide. The Western Australian city is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches.
Farris Noorzali / Shutterstock
T=19. Hamburg, Germany — The major port city in northern Germany is the second largest of its kind in the country. It has become a centre for media and industry and is home to the world’s second oldest bank: Berenberg Bank.
powell’sPoint / Shutterstock
T=19. Ottawa, Canada — This city is considered the most educated in Canada with its wealth of post-secondary, research, and cultural institutions. It also has low unemployment and parts of the city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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