Vienna waltzes to quality of living win for 10th year

Clay Curtis
March 15, 2019

The 2019 Quality of Living Ranking published on Wednesday by human resources consulting firm Mercer is no different.

San Francisco topped all US cities at No. 34, followed by Boston (36), Honolulu (27), and NY (44). The exception was NY (44), rising one place as crime rates in the city continue to fall.

Dubai ranked 74th while Abu Dhabi come in four spots below.

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Coming in last in the 231st position is Baghdad, Iraq; however, it must be said that whilst this city came in last, it did show significant improvements in safety and health services. Helsinki, Finland, and Basel, Bern, and Zürich all in Switzerland follow in joint second.

In terms of overall quality of living, Singapore (25), Montevideo in Uruguay (78) and Mauritius's Port Louis (83) were the highest ranking cities in Asia, South America and Africa respectively. In Western Europe, a few cities - including Paris, Athens, and Madrid - saw a decline in personal safety due to terror attacks and internal instabilities. Seoul jumped two places from 2017 after their political stability returned when their president was arrested previous year. If Amsterdam wants to make it into the top 10 next year, it will have to devote more attention to traffic problems and recreation.

Meanwhile, New Zealand and Australia continue to rank highly in quality of living, with Auckland, Sydney, Wellington and Melbourne all remaining in the top 20.

There were few big shifts but Caracas fell 29 places to 222nd as Venezuela has suffered from hyperinflation, a shortage of basic goods and, more recently, a political crisis since opposition leader Juan Guaido assumed the interim presidency in January. Conversely, Bangui (230) scored the lowest for the continent and also ranked lowest for personal safety (230).

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