Vienna Tops Mercer’s 21st Quality of Living Ranking

  • The Austrian capital tops the list for the tenth running year.
  • Western Europe takes eight of the 10 highest-ranking positions on Mercer’s new safety ranking with Luxembourg topping the list.
  • Despite Brexit, London remains an attractive destination for international business.
  • San Francisco top-ranked city in the United States for quality of living.

With its vibrant cultural scene, excellent healthcare, cheap transport, and a surprising urban edge: The patrician Austrian capital has rediscovered its joie de vivre.

Vienna offers the world’s highest quality of living, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Mercer Quality of Living Survey. The city, with a population of just under two million, scores highly in a number of categories. Among others, the city is championed for providing a safe and stable environment for expatriates to live in; it boasts an extensive offering of international consumer goods, affordable public and utilities transportation facilities, and good recreational facilities.

Vienna Quality of Living Ranking

Eight of the top cities are European, with Auckland, Vancouver, and Sydney representing other continents. Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the most comprehensive of its type in the world and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organizations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

Vienna Tops Mercer’s 21st Quality of Living Ranking

Mercer’s 21st annual Quality of Living Survey shows that the quality of living is an essential component of a city’s attractiveness for businesses and mobile talent. Some of the factors considered in determining the appeal of cities are – availability of consumer goods, economic environment, housing, medical and health considerations, natural environment, political and social environment, recreation, school and education, and socio-cultural environment.

“Strong, on-the-ground capabilities are integral to the global operations of most international businesses and are in large part driven by the personal and professional well-being of the individuals that companies place in those locations,” said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and President of Mercer’s Career business. “Companies looking to expand overseas have a host of considerations when identifying where best to locate staff and new offices. The key is relevant, reliable data and standardized measurement, which are essential for employers to make critical decisions, from deciding where to establish offices to determine how to distribute, house and remunerate their global workforces.”

Vienna Survey Quality of Living Mercer

Mercer’s Quality of Living research assists multinational organizations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Some cities are tied in the ranking.

“The security of the individual is informed by a wide range of factors and is constantly in flux, as the circumstances and conditions in cities and countries change year over year. These factors are crucial for multinationals to consider when sending employees abroad because they consider any concerns around the expat’s own safety and can have a significant impact on the cost of international compensation programs,” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer and Global Product Owner for its Quality of Living research. “In order to stay abreast of the quality of living across all the locations where staff are deployed, companies need accurate data and objective methods to help them determine the cost implications of changing living standards.”

In addition to valuable data on relative quality of living, Mercer’s survey provides assessment for more than 450 cities throughout the world; this ranking includes 231 of these cities. This year, Mercer provides a separate ranking on personal safety, which analyzes cities’ internal stability; crime levels; law enforcement; limitations on personal freedom; relationships with other countries and freedom of the press.

Mercer’s 25th annual Cost of Living Survey also noted that eight of the top ten costliest cities for expatriates are Asian cities, with Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, and Seoul taking the first, second, third, and fourth position, respectively. Featured Image Credit: Beautiful view of famous Schloss Belvedere with a reflectant pool and blue sky, in Vienna, Austria.

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Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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