Mercer’s rankings are designed “to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments,” according to the company’s website.
Factors considered include political stability, crime rate, air pollution, media censorship, limitations on personal freedom, medical services, public transportation, traffic congestion, recreation, and climate.
Baghdad, the violence-plagued Iraqi capital, again ranks last, at No. 233 out of 233 cities, followed by Bangui, Central African Republic (No. 222); Port-au-Prince, Haiti (221); N’Djamena, Chad (220); and Sana’a, Yemen (219).
Vienna, Austria, is rated as the best city to live in, followed by Zurich, Switzerland; Auckland, New Zealand; Munich, Germany; and Vancouver, Canada.
The German cities of Dusseldorf and Frankfurt are also in the top 10 of the Mercer Quality of Living Survey 2014.
“European cities enjoy a high overall quality of living compared to those in other regions,” said a senior researcher at Mercer. “Healthcare, infrastructure, and recreational facilities are generally of a very high standard.”
The lowest-ranked city in Europe is Tbilisi, Georgia at No. 191 overall.
In North America, Ottawa, Canada, is second behind Vancouver, at 14 overall, followed by Toronto (15) and Montreal (23) in Canada, and San Francisco (27).
Mexico City is the lowest in North America, at No. 122, followed by Detroit (70), St. Louis (67), Houston (66), and Miami (65).
The top-ranked cities in Central and South America are Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe (69), and San Juan, Puerto Rico (72). The lowest-ranked after Port-au-Prince are Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and Caracas, Venezuela.
Singapore is tops in Asia (25), followed by Tokyo (43). At the bottom is Dushanbe, Tajikistan (209).
In the Middle East and Africa region, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is highest-ranked at 73, and Baghdad, of course, is the lowest.
“The Middle East and especially Africa remain one of the most challenging regions for multinational organizations and expatriates,” said the firm.
While Arab cities occupied last places in the report, where dissolved the Iraqi capital in last place, and replaced the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, ranked 227 out of 230, and the Yemeni capital Sanaa, ranked 225, the Syrian capital, Damascus, ranked 220, and the Libyan capital Tripoli ranked 216.