World's most liveable cities 2016: Vienna, Sydney and Melbourne rank in top 20

36 Hours in Vienna

The 150 year old majestic Ringstrasse is only one reason to visit a city where virtually any activity, from strolling through a museum to sipping coffee, leaves one feeling pampered. Video: New York Times

Vienna has been billed the world's most "liveable" city for the seventh year in a row, in a survey of hundreds of destinations whose top spots were dominated by European cities. 

The Austrian capital was deemed to offer the highest quality of living in the latest survey of 230 cities ranked by a measurement based on factors including political stability, crime, currency exchange, recreational facilities, housing and climate.

Australia's major cities all featured in the top 40, though Sydney was the only city to reach the top 10. Melbourne came in at number 15 with Perth at 21. 

European cities dominated the top 10 positions in the Quality of Living Rankings by Mercer, including two Swiss cities (Zurich and Geneva) and three in Germany (Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt). Auckland, Vancouver, Copenhagen and Sydney rounded out the rest of the top 10 spots.

London ranked 39th while five other UK cities, including Edinburgh (46th), Birmingham (53rd), Glasgow (55th), Aberdeen (59th), and Belfast (64th) made the made the top 100 cities in the world where residents enjoy the highest quality of life. 

In other parts of the world, places in New Zealand and Australia scored highly, with Wellington and Melbourne in the top 20. 

But by continent, North American citizens enjoy the highest quality of life, according to the findings. Canadian cities dominated the regional list, with Vancouver followed by Toronto (15th) and Ottawa (17th), while San Francisco (28th) followed by Boston (34th) and Honolulu (35th) were among the highest ranking in the US. 

Singapore (26th) ranked the highest in Asia, followed by five Japanese cities including Kobe, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Yokohama – all tied for 32nd place – while Dubai (75th), Abu Dhabi (81st) , Mauritian capital of Port Louis (83rd), Cape Town (92nd) and Johannesburg (95th) were among the cities offering the highest quality of living across Africa and the Middle East.

The world's least "liveable" cities are mostly to be found in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with Baghdad named the worst place to make a home. It was followed by Damascus in Syria, Dhaka in Bangladesh (214th), Lagos, Nigeria (211th), Tashkent, Uzbekistan (205th) and Tehran in Iran (203rd).

The lowest ranking cities in Europe included Kiev (176th), the Albanian capital Tirana (179th), and Minsk in Belarus (190th).

Mercer's global survey also ranked the cities according personal safety, which was also dominated by European cities. Luxembourg took the top spot, followed by Bern, Helsinki and Zurich in Switzerland which were tied at second place, while Vienna came in at fifth. Baghdad, Damascus, Karachi in Pakistan, and Nairobi, Kenya were among the lowest ranking cities for personal safety. 

The world's top 20 most liveable cities for 2016

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Zurich, Switzerland

3. Auckland, New Zealand

4. Munich, Germany

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Dusseldorf, Germany

7. Frankfurt, Germany

8. Geneva, Switzerland

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

11. Amsterdam, Netherlands

12. Wellington, New Zealand

13. Berlin, Germany

14. Bern, Switzerland

15. Toronto, Canada

15. Melbourne, Australia

17. Ottawa, Canada

18. Hamburg, Germany

19. Luxembourg, Luxembourg

20. Stockholm, Sweden

The most liveable Australian cities

Sydney (no.10)

Melbourne (no.15)

Perth (no.21)

Adelaide (no.27)

Canberra (no.28)

Brisbane (no.36)

The world's least liveable cities

221. Conarky, Guinea

222. Kinshasa, DR Congo

223. Brazzaville, Congo

224. Damascus, Syria

225. N'Djamena, Chad

226. Khartoum, Sudan

227. Port-au-Prince, Haiti

228. Sana'a, Yemen

229. Bangui, Central African Republic

230. Baghdad, Iraq

The Telegraph, London

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