Vancouver is the fifth and highest-ranking North American city on Mercer’s annual Quality of Living survey. It is followed by Toronto (16) and Ottawa (19). For the ninth year in a row, Vienna ranks highest in this survey. It is followed by Zurich (2); Auckland and Munich are in joint third place. Singapore (25) and Montevideo (77) are the highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America respectively.
Despite economic volatility in Europe due to uncertainty around Brexit as well as increased political volatility in the region overall, many of its cities still offer the world’s highest quality of living and continue to remain attractive destinations for expatriates on assignment, according to the survey. Cities in emerging markets, though challenged by economic and political turmoil, are catching up with top-ranking cities following decades of investing in infrastructure, recreational facilities, and housing to attract talent and multinational businesses.
This year, Mercer provides a separate ranking on City Sanitation, which analyses cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality—all important aspects of a city’s attractiveness for both talent and businesses. Honolulu tops the City Sanitation ranking, followed by Ottawa and Helsinki in joint second.
“With increasing globalisation and changing demographic of the workforce, attracting and retaining the right talent is set to be one of the key challenges for businesses over the next five years,” said Ilya Bonic, president of Mercer’s Career business. “An increasingly diverse workforce is both more mobile and digital with highly diverging requirements and aspirations in terms of career, lifestyle, and, ultimately, where and how they want to work.”
Mercer’s survey is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organizations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. In addition to valuable data on relative quality of living, Mercer’s surveys provide hardship premium recommendations for more than 450 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 231 of these cities.