These Cities Have the Best Quality of Living in the World

Cities want to attract businesses and talent, so their appeal as a desirable place to live matters.

What determines good quality of living in a city? You might want recreational opportunities, ample public services, good transportation, available housing and healthcare. Mercer's Quality of Living rankings includes these factors in their evaluation of nearly 500 destinations around the world, along with the economic environment, availability of consumer goods, the political and social environment, the natural environment, socio-cultural environment, education and personal safety.

Mercer, a global business consulting company, does the ranking every year.

It's interesting to note that in the personal safety category, none of the U.S. cities made the top 10, in fact, in the U.S., most locations have seen a decline in safety, the report says. Some of the least safe cities were in central Africa, Iraq, Syria and Haiti. Criteria used for the personal safety ranking include: internal stability, crime,law enforcement, limitations on personal freedom and media/censorship.

As for quality of living overall, the highest ranking U.S. city is San Francisco, at No. 34. None of Mercer's top five cities for international employees in North America were in the U.S., all are in Canada.

Based on Mercer's ranking, these are the cities with the best quality of living in the world:

1. Vienna
1. Vienna

1. Vienna

The Austrian capital has made the top of this list for a decade, with the best quality of living in the world. Pictured is Grabenstrasse, the main street in old town Vienna.

As many as 13 of the world's top 20 spots were taken by European cities.

Photo: Reidl / Shutterstock

2. Zurich
2. Zurich

2. Zurich

Zurich is also one of the five safest cities in the world.

Photo: MarinaD_37 / Shutterstock

3. Vancouver, Canada
3. Vancouver, Canada

3. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is another of the safest cities in the world.

Photo: Lissandra Melo / Shutterstock

4. Munich
4. Munich

4. Munich

According to Mercer, many cities around the world still offer attractive environments in which to do business, and the best of them understand that the quality of living is an essential component of a city's attractiveness for businesses and mobile talent.

Photo: Shutterstock

5. Auckland, New Zealand
5. Auckland, New Zealand

5. Auckland, New Zealand

Photo: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock

6. Dusseldorf, Germany
6. Dusseldorf, Germany

6. Dusseldorf, Germany

Photo: trabantos / Shutterstock

7. Frankfurt, Germany
7. Frankfurt, Germany

7. Frankfurt, Germany

Pictured is the Christmas market in Frankfurt's historic center.

Photo: Shutterstock

8. Copenhagen, Denmark
8. Copenhagen, Denmark

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Photo: Shalom Rufeisen / Shutterstock

9. Geneva
9. Geneva

9. Geneva

Photo: Roman Babakin / Shutterstock

10. Basel, Switzerland
10. Basel, Switzerland

10. Basel, Switzerland

Above, Basel with its red stone Minster cathedral and the Rhine river.

Photo: Shutterstock

11. Sydney
11. Sydney

11. Sydney

Photo: Nigel Jarvis / Shutterstock

12. Amsterdam
12. Amsterdam

12. Amsterdam

Above, visitors in the Rembrandt Hall in Amsterdam's RIjksmuseum.

Photo: Tina Bour / Shutterstock

13. Berlin
13. Berlin

13. Berlin

Photo: Shutterstock

14. Bern, Switzerland
14. Bern, Switzerland

14. Bern, Switzerland

Photo: Shutterstock

15. Wellington, New Zealand
15. Wellington, New Zealand

15. Wellington, New Zealand

Above, Wellington's funicular cable car is a 5-minute ride from the heart of the city, past terraced hillside homes to a lookout perched high above Wellington.

Photo: Victor Maschek / Shutterstock

16. Toronto
16. Toronto

16. Toronto

Ice skaters enjoy Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.

Photo: Shutterstock

17. Melbourne, Australia
17. Melbourne, Australia

17. Melbourne, Australia

Degraves Street in Melbourne is a popular pedestrian-only lane known for its cafes and street art.

Photo: Nils Versemann / Shutterstock

18. Luxembourg
18. Luxembourg

18. Luxembourg

Photo: Shutterstock

19. Ottawa, Canada
19. Ottawa, Canada

19. Ottawa, Canada

Above, skaters on Ottawa's Rideau Canal, the world's largest naturally frozen skating rink, which stretches 4.8 miles from downtown to Dows Lake.

Photo: Shutterstock

20. Hamburg, Germany
20. Hamburg, Germany

20. Hamburg, Germany

Photo: Shutterstock

21. Perth, Australia
21. Perth, Australia

21. Perth, Australia

Photo: Benny Marty / Shutterstock

22. Montreal
22. Montreal

22. Montreal

Photo: Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock

23. Nuremburg, Germany
23. Nuremburg, Germany

23. Nuremburg, Germany

Photo: Shutterstock

24. Stockholm
24. Stockholm

24. Stockholm

Photo: Shutterstock

25. Oslo, Norway
25. Oslo, Norway

25. Oslo, Norway

Pictured is the Oslo Opera House.

Photo: Tupungato / Shutterstock

26. Singapore
26. Singapore

26. Singapore

The Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is a 250-acre nature park. Some of the Supertrees, shown here, are as tall as 160 feet.

Photo: S-F / Shutterstock

27. Stuttgart, Germany
27. Stuttgart, Germany

27. Stuttgart, Germany

Pictured is the Stuttgart public library.

Photo: RossHelen / Shutterstock

28. Brussels
28. Brussels

28. Brussels

Photo: Shutterstock

29. Adelaide, Australia
29. Adelaide, Australia

29. Adelaide, Australia

Photo: Shutterstock

30. Canberra, Australia
30. Canberra, Australia

30. Canberra, Australia

See the ranking of all the cities at Mercer.

Photo: Shutterstock

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