Swiss cities among world’s best for quality of life

A cyclist takes a ride along Lake Zurich in the winter sun Keystone

Zurich, Geneva and Basel are among the top ten cities in the world with the best quality of life, according to an international survey published on Tuesday.

This content was published on March 14, 2017 - 10:00

Western European cities continued to dominate the Mercer annual quality of living surveyExternal link, now in its 19th year.

The Austrian capital Vienna came first in its ranking of 450 cities for the eighth year in a row. It was followed by Zurich, Auckland (New Zealand), Munich (Germany), Vancouver (Canada), Düsseldorf (Germany), Frankfurt (Germany), Geneva (Switzerland) and Copenhagen (Denmark). Basel and Sydney (Australia) came equal tenth. The Swiss capital Bern was ranked 14th.

“Despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, many of its cities offer the world’s highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment,” the consulting group Mercer said in a statement.

Mercer’s survey also includes a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports. Singapore came first in the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in second place. Zurich came ninth. Baghdad (230) and Port au Prince (231) rank last for city infrastructure.

“Cities that rank high in the city infrastructure list provide a combination of top-notch local and international airport facilities, varied and extended coverage through their local transportation networks, and innovative solutions such as smart technology and alternative energy,” said Slagin Parakatil, responsible for the Mercer research.

Expat info

The ranking, which assesses quality of life for expat employees in particular and is destined for multinationals, government agencies and local authorities, uses 39 criteria to assess quality of life, including political, economic and environmental factors, as well as health and education services.

Cities in African and Middle Eastern countries dominate the bottom half of the table for infrastructure, with Brazzaville (228) in the Republic of the Congo, Sana’a (229) in Yemen, and Baghdad (230) in Iraq ranking the lowest.

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