Top 5 cities for expats

Vienna Vienna

The Austrian capital retains the top spot as the city with the world’s best quality of living. Europe has 15 cities among the world’s top 25 cities for quality of living, with Vienna retaining the highest-ranking for both the region and globally.

Zurich Zurich

The largest city in Switzerland, Zurich is among the world’s largest financial centers. Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of several factors: Increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures, says Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.

Auckland Auckland

The Auckland metropolitan area is the largest and most populous urban area in New Zealand, with about 1.4 million residents. Positive aspects of Auckland life include its mild climate, plentiful employment and educational opportunities, as well as numerous leisure activities.

Munich Munich

Munich is the third-largest city in Germany, with a population of about 1.4 million people. “Infrastructure in German and Danish cities is among the best in the world, in part due to their first-class airport facilities, international and local connectivity and a high standard of public services,” says Parakatil.

Vancouver Vancouver

This city — home to the 2010 Winter Olympics — is on Canada’s west coast and is the third-most populous metropolitan area in the country. Within the Americas region, Canadian cities dominate the top of Mercer’s index, with the nation’s capital, Ottawa, coming in at No. 14 and Toronto, at No. 15.

U.S. cities U.S. cities

In the U.S., Honolulu (No. 28) and San Francisco (No. 29) are the highest-ranking cities, followed by Boston (No. 35) and Chicago (No. 42). Detroit (No. 71) is the lowest-ranking of the U.S. cities Mercer surveys.

Baghdad Baghdad

As for the cities with the lowest quality of living, these include Baghdad, Iraq (ranked last), Bangui, Central African Republic (No. 220), Port-au-Prince, Haiti (No. 219), N’Djamena, Chad (No. 218) and Khartoum, Sudan (No. 217).

According to the Towers Watson/Worldwide ERC 2012 Global Talent Mobility Study, 45% of global multinationals expect traditional expatriate assignments to increase through 2014. If you’re planning to deploy expatriate workers next year, you may want to consider these locations, cited by Mercer as the top cities worldwide in its Quality of Living rankings. [Images: Shutterstock]

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