Vienna world’s most liveable city and Luxembourg world’s safest in survey

Consulting firm, Mercer ranked major cities based on 'quality of living' and 'personal safety', with European cities dominating both lists.

Vienna world's most liveable city and Luxembourg world's safest in survey

When it comes to finding the ‘ideal’ city to work and live, the picture is often mixed depending on your criteria – from the weather to crime levels, transport links and house prices – and which quality of life survey you look at.

According to the latest annual survey by consulting firm, Mercer, Vienna is the most liveable city overall, while Luxembourg tops the list again of the world’s safest cities.

Zurich kept its number two position in the Mercer 2011 Quality of Living ranking, while Baghdad came last.

Mercer scored more than 200 major cities based on 39 ‘quality of living’ criteria – such as public services, media and censorship and transport– with each city ranked against New York City’s base rating of 100.

Cities in Western Europe dominated the survey for quality of living, which Mercer attributes to their “advanced infrastructure and high-quality medical, recreational and leisure facilities”, with the highest ranking cities also faring well in the economic downturn.

Cities in Australia, New Zealand and Canada also ranked favourably in the top 20 places for quality of living.

London came 38th, with Mercer citing economic uncertainty, which led to protests and looting in the capital and other parts of the UK.

Luxembourg tops world’s safest city list

Mercer has also released a separate list ranking cities according to levels of personal safety, based on criteria such as law enforcement, crime and political and internal stability.

Sandwiched between France, Belgium and Germany, the sovereign state of Luxembourg topped Mercer’s list again as the world’s safest city, ahead of Bern in Switzerland and Helsinki in Finland.

The rankings reflect the global economic crisis, with Athens slipping down this year’s ranking due to the threat of economic collapse, resulting in austerity measures that led to violent clashes between street protestors and police.

Cities in Australia and Canada ranked highly, while in Europe, Oslo dropped down the list to 24th place for personal safety because of the terrorist act in July by Anders Behring Breivik that killed 77 people.

Mercer said Norways’s capital would otherwise feature among the top 15 cities for personal safety.

Of the most dangerous cities on the list, Baghdad ranked lowest, with a high threat of terrorist attacks and high crime rates.

The 10 world’s most liveable cities on the list:

  1. Vienna (Austria)
  2. Zurich (Switzerland)
  3. Auckland (New Zealand)
  4. Munich (Germany)
  5. Vancouver (Canada) and Düsseldorf (Germany) (joint position)
  6. Frankfurt (Germany)
  7. Geneva (Switzerland)
  8. Bern (Switzerland) and Copenhagen (Denmark) (joint position)

The 10 world’s safest cities on the list:

  1. Luxembourg
  2. Bern (Switzerland)
  3. Helsinki (Finland) and Zurich (Switzerland) (joint position)
  4. Vienna (Austria)
  5. Geneva (Switzerland) and Stockholm (Sweden) (joint position)
  6. Singapore
  7. Auckland and Wellington (New Zealand) (joint position)

Click here for the full lists

What others have said

  1. If Luxembourg “topped Mercer’s list”, it can’t possibly be “sandwiched between France, Belgium and Germany”… some mixed metaphors there.

    Also, your list of the 10 world’s most liveable cities has Austria, the city, in the country of Vienna … I’m thinking that should be the other way round …

  2. This is really interesting actually. I live in London myself and personally I think it is a great place to live. However the riots where very scary so I can understand why it isn’t near the top. I see that Vienna holds the number 1 spot for most ‘livable’ city, but I must admit i’m not entirely sure what that means. I am actually going on a Vienna city break in the new year with my family so it is very re-assuring to know that it is in the top 10 safest cities as I am taking the children.

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