Are you looking to retire abroad in a few years, or contemplating investing in a home away from home in a different country? Perhaps you’re considering a new job away from the pretty poor UK weather.
If so, you’ll want to know which foreign cities offer the best quality of life, plus which are prohibitively expensive.
Lucky for you, new research has just been released which looks into all of this and more.
International employment consultants Mercer set out to discover the destinations with the best (and worst) quality of life. The idea was to help companies decide how to set hardship allowances for their internationally mobile workforce, but it makes fascinating reading for anyone considering working or living abroad.
Mercer analysed 230 cities on a whole host of measurements including health care, transportation, environment, culture, political stability, infrastructure, safety and ease of doing business. European destinations dominated the top ten.
Best Quality of Life
The quaint coffee shops and impressive architecture of Austria’s capital Vienna helped it to top the list of those countries offering the best quality of life, a position it earned for the second year running. It came ahead of Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver.
The cities making up the rest of the top ten included San Francisco, Boston and Honolulu (the best cities in the U.S. for quality of life) as well as Dubai (the best in the Middle East) and Singapore.
London came in 40th, having fallen two places from last year. Factors such as air pollution and traffic congestion prevented it from being any higher in the table.
Best 20 Citıes for Quality of Life
Auckland, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
The worst destinations for quality of life may not surprise you, and are hardly likely to be on anyone’s ex-pat dream destination list. Baghdad in Iraq is classed as the very worst place to live, coming in as the last entry on the list of 230 destinations. Bangui in the Central African Republic and Port-au-Prince in Haiti are almost as bad.
The Bottom 10 Cities for Quality of Life
220 Damascus Syria
221 Nouakchott Mauritania
222 Conakry Guinea
223 Kinshasa Congo, Democratic Republic of
224 Brazzaville Congo, Republic of
225 Sana’a Yemen
226 N’Djamena Chad
227 Khartoum Sudan
228 Port au Prince Haiti
229 Bangui Central African Republic
230 Baghdad Iraq
The Most Expensive Cities in the World
While Singapore may have made it into the top ten of best places on earth for quality of life, it also tops the list as the most expensive city in the world, according to another report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Paris, Oslo, Zurich and Sydney come second, third, fourth and fifth respectively in the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey. In contrast, London is now the 11th most expensive place to live, tying with Tokyo