Vancouver is one of the most livable cities in the world: Survey

Vancouver ranks amongst one of most preferred cities to live in the world once again.

According to the 18th annual Quality of Life survey by Mercer, a global consulting and investment organization based in Toronto, Vancouver ranked at 5th , offering the best quality of living and working worldwide for residents and expatriate employees.

Vancouver is the only in North American city amongst the top 10 – despite its skyrocketing housing prices. In a survey published last month, Vancouver also got into the top 5 cities with the most expensive real estate markets in the world.

On the other hand, economic uncertainty in Europe, hasn’t deterred Western European cities to get top spots.  Vienna takes again the first place, followed by Zurich (2) and Munich (4) . Meanwhile,   New Zealand’s Auckland grabbed the third place.

Mercer evaluated the local living conditions in more than 440 cities worldwide (230 were included in this year’s list)  and were analyzed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories – including politics, social-cultural, environment, health, education, public services, recreation, consumer goods, housing and natural environment. The research is aimed to assist companies to ensure their employees receive fair compensation and meet their  needs while working abroad.

Mercer's Quality of Life Survey 2016. Source: Mercer

Mercer’s Quality of Life Survey 2016. Image source: Mercer

Other Canadian cities also ranked fairly well in the survey — Toronto (15), Ottawa (17), Montreal (23) and Calgary (32).

‘Quality of living continues to be high in Canada with a stable political environment and positive social benefits, offering a very desirable and safe place to live and work for residents and expatriate workers,’said Gordon Frost, Leader of Mercer’s Talent Business in Canada, in a press release. ‘Our sustained high ranking is attractive to multinational corporations and their employees as they look to expand in Canada and provide significant opportunities to both Canadians and workers from abroad.’

In the United States, San Francisco (28) ranks highest for quality of living, followed by Boston (34), Honolulu (35), Chicago (43), and New York City (44).  In North America, Monterrey (108) and Mexico City (127) take the lowest spots and for the Caribbean, Havana (191) and Port-au-Prince (227).

Mercer's Quality of Living Survey 2016. Source: Mercer.

Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey 2016. Image source: Mercer

South American cities Montevideo (78), Buenos Aires (93), and Santiago (94) remain the highest ranking cities for quality of living, while Bogota (130), La Paz (156), and Caracas (185) rank lowest in the region.

The city with the world’s lowest quality of living is Baghdad (230).

The survey also studied personal safety and compiled a list of cities based on internal stability, crime levels, performance of local law enforcement, and the home country’s relationship with other nations.

‘Heightened domestic and global security threats, population displacement resulting from violence, and social unrest in key business centres around the world are all elements adding to the complex challenge facing multinational companies when analysing the safety and health of their expatriate workforces, ‘ explains Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president at Mercer, in a statement.

As for the personal safety list, all the aforementioned Canadian cities  ranked 16th, in contrast with  US cities, which didn’t make the top 50.

‘Canada’s major cities continue to be much safer than every US counterpart. This is extremely appealing for ex-patriate employees looking to bring their families with them as they move abroad for work,’ Frost explains.

In addition, the report reveals that most North American cities are safe for expatriates, but Mexican cities are ranked relatively low, because of the drug-related violence. Monterrey is the highest ranking Mexican city at 108th, whereas Mexico City takes the 127th place.

In the rest of the American continent,  Kingston (199), Tegucigalpa (201), and Port-au-Prince (211) show the lowest levels of personal safety and at 96th Montevideo is South America’s highest ranking in personal safety; while Caracas (214) is the lowest. Unemployment, economic crisis and political unrest in some of the countries, are factors that explains these low rankings in personal safety in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Globally, Luxembourg tops the personal safety list followed by Bern, Helsinki, and Zurich, all three in the second place. Whereas, Baghdad (230) and Damascus (229) made the  bottom of the list.

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