Recently Mercer’s released their list of the top places to live in the world. They analyze a number of different criteria to come up with their ranking based on overall quality of life indexes. Here is this year’s top ten best places to live in the world.
Copenhagen has made Mercer’s list of the top places to live in the world for the past five years. Copenhagen continually ranks high due to its advanced infrastructure and top of the line medical and recreational facilities. Additionally Copenhagen is one of the best eco-friendly cities in Europe. Nearly one third of the people in Copenhagen commute to work by bike every day on some of the 200+ miles of bike paths in the city. An overall increase in awareness of health issues has led Denmark to be one of the largest consumers and producers of organic food in Europe.
Bern is the capital of Switzerland and one of three cities in Switzerland to make the list of the top ten best places to live in the world. Bern has consistently ranked number 9 in Mercer’s list for the past three years in a row. Bern is located in what is known as the Swiss plateau and old town Bern has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site since 1983. Modern architecture blends into medieval relics that have been able to stand the test of time. The city has numerous arches, fountains, sandstone facades, and narrow streets which all add to the overall atmosphere and small town feel. Bern is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It is also the center of engineering and manufacturing for all of Switzerland and has thriving IT, medical, fine-goods, and automobile industries. If all of that wasn’t enough, Bern is also ranked as one of the safest cities in the world. One of the biggest issues facing Bern is the issue of immigration. Nearly one quarter of the cities population is from foreigners. Locals feel that foreigners will drive up rent even more, increase unemployment, crowded roadways, and overall decrease their coveted quality of life.
Geneva is Switzerland’s second most populated city behind Zurich. Geneva’s claim to fame is its international presence and is home to over 20 international companies and organizations such as the Red Cross and the WTO (World Trade Organization). Roughly 44 percent of the population is made up of foreigners. Situated ideally between the base of the Swiss Alps and Lake Geneva, its beautiful environment makes it one of the greenest cities in Europe. Nearly one fifth of the city land is set aside for parks and public land and has led to the city being nicknamed the “city of parks.” The city continually has some of the best air quality in Europe in part due to the strict pollution laws in place and other environmental regulations. Like Bern, the cost of living in Geneva is extraordinarily high. Geneva boasts some of the best private educational systems in the world and many wealthy individuals chose to send their children to one of Geneva’s many private schools.
Like Switzerland, there are three cities in Germany represented on the list of the top ten best places to live in the world. Frankfurt is known as the largest financial center in all of Europe and is Germany’s fifth largest city. It is home to the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Frankfurt also serves as a critical transportation hub for much of Central Europe with a highly integrated high speed rail system and a busy international airport. Nearly 115 million passengers utilize the Frankfurt rail system every year and 55 million people pass through the airport, which makes it the 9th busiest airport in the world. Like the other cities on the list, Frankfurt is one of the safest cities in the world. Law enforcement continually stays vigilant and makes the safety of the people its highest priority.
Vancouver is the only city in North America to make this year’s list of the top ten places to live. Vancouver has received much recognition over the years as being a highly desirable place to live and has ranked in Mercer’s list of the top places to live for the last five years consecutively. Vancouver benefits from one of the mildest climates in Canada and is also Canada’s greenest city. In fact, it is the greenest major city in all of North America. The city has vowed to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and water, there is plenty of recreational activities to take part in. Vancouver consistently ranks high in safety ratings and is among the safest cities in the world.
Just like Vancouver, Dusseldorf has made the list of the top ten best places to live in the world for the last five years. Situated on the Rhine river, Dusseldorf is the seventh largest city in Germany and has a well-connected infrastructure. World renowned for its fashion and trade shows, Dusseldorf is also quickly becoming a telecommunications mecca. Additionally several major international companies such as Hewlett Packer and Nokia have a large presence in Dusseldorf adding to the local economy. Dusseldorf is also the largest producer of contemporary art in Germany and boasts more than 100 art galleries. The countries export-driven economy has helped shelter Dusseldorf from the eurozone financial crisis.
With more than 1 million people, Munich is Germany’s third largest city and is one of Germany’s key economic hubs. Munich has the strongest economy and the lowest unemployment rates of any major German city. By every regard, Munich is considered an international city and holds the headquarters of such companies as Siemens AG, BMW, Allianz, and Munich Re. Ironically one of the biggest problems that Munich faces is that they cannot find enough skilled labor to fill jobs. Current estimates state that more than 80,000 engineer, 60,000 IT professionals , and 12,000 doctors are needed annually to meet job supply. Due to the surplus of jobs, more than 40 percent of Munich’s residents are foreigners. People from countries such as Greece and Spain have been immigrating to find work.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with a population of approximately 1.35 million people and makes up close to one third of the country’s population. Auckland is uniquely situated between two major harbors and surrounded by 11 extinct volcanoes. Auckland has the highest boat ownership per capita of any city in the world. It is also one of the safest major cities in the world and celebrates consistently low crime rates. Many major international companies have offices in Auckland. This is primarily due to the historically stable political climate in the country.
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland is considered the economic center of the country. In fact, one in nine jobs in the country are based in Zurich. Its unbelievably low tax rates encourage many companies to have their headquarters there. It is estimated that close to 85% of the country’s assets are held in one of the 82 banks headquartered in Zurich. With an abundance of jobs, high rankings in safety, and many other attractions it is no wonder why Zurich is such a desirable place to live. Unfortunately because of this, Zurich is currently facing tension over housing issues and is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. The price of such high quality of life doesn’t come cheap.
Vienna is Austria’s largest city and has been voted the best place to live in the world since 2009. Simultaneously Vienna is the economic, cultural, political, educational, and population center of Austria. A few years back the city undertook a huge urban renewal program which involved refurbishing more than 5000 buildings and 250,000 apartments into modern dwellings. As a result of this undertaking, the city received an urban-planning award from the United Nations. Vienna is the world’s number one destination for business conferences and draws in more than 5 million people per year to these conferences. Vienna is rich with history. It is regarded as the City of Music due to its musical legacy and was also home to the world’s first psycho-analyst, Sigmund Freud. The city also is, on a regular basis, one of the finalists for innovation and the people are considered to be among the most intelligent in the world.