Bucharest is still rated the 107th best city in which to live in the world, and is second to last in the European ranking, but is ahead of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, which fell three positions and ended up in 113th place, according to a Mercer study on the quality of life in 221 cities around the world.
European cities dominate the upper half of the Mercer ranking (15 out of the first 25) with Vienna in Austria deemed the best city in the world in which to live. Prague appears as the best ranking city in Central and Eastern Europe, followed by Budapest, Ljubljana, Vilnius and Warsaw. The weakest link in the European chain is Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, which comes in at 213th place.
“In order to make sure that their expats are adequately paid and that their salary packages include bonuses proportionate to the hardships such expats run up against, companies must be aware of the current events and of local circumstances,” stated Slagin Parakatil, Mercer Senior Researcher. “Elements such as domestic stability, efficiency of law enforcement, crime levels and medical facilities must be considered when making a decision for an international assignment, as well as the everyday impact that the expat might feel when being sent abroad,” added Parakatil.
In Europe, the quality of life mix includes a high level of stability, constantly improving living standards and well-developed urban infrastructures. “However, economic chaos, political tensions and high unemployment rates in certain European countries continue to pose problems in the region,” according to Parakatil.
Expats heading for Honolulu, Hawaii, should feel very happy as they are about to enter the US city with the highest quality of life. San Francisco, Boston and Chicago are also excellent choices. New York, the reference city for the Mercer study, comes in 44th in the global ranking. In Central and Southern America, Pointe-à-Pitre, in Guadeloupe is the place to be, followed by San Juan, in Puerto Rico and by Montevideo, in Uruguay.
The study dedicates a separate section to the ranking of cities around the world depending on the complexity of the infrastructure they rely on. The infrastructure index combines elements such as power supply, availability of water, phone and postal services, public transportation, traffic congestion and the variety of international flights from local airports.
Singapore appears to be the best endowed city of the world from this point of view, while the Romanian capital is at number 112. Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen and Dusseldorf complete the top 5 shortlist, while Hong Kong and London jointly check in as 6th best contenders. Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, is rated lowest for infrastructure development in the very last place – 221. An American perspective of the global infrastructure ranking sees Atlanta in 13th position, Dallas in 15th, Washington DC – 22nd and Chicago in 28th.
In the Middle East and African region the quality of life ranking assigns Dubai and Abu Dhabi the top two positions. But 15 out of the lowest 20 positions in the global ranking are occupied by cities in the region. The study also reveals that most urban locations in the region do not appear among the top 100 infrastructure performers.
Ioana Jelea, [email protected]
(photo source: sxc.hu)