Vienna named world's most liveable city again in 2015

Vienna, Austria's elegant capital on the Danube river, has again been commended as offering the best quality of life of any city in the world; Baghdad, once more, was deemed the worst to live in.

The consulting firm Mercer said German and Swiss cities also performed well in its annual quality of living rankings. Zurich, Munich, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt remained in the top 10.

Mercer's survey helps companies and organisations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

With a population of 1.7 million, Vienna topped the survey for the sixth year in a row, boasting a vibrant cultural scene alongside comprehensive health care and moderate housing costs.

The Austrian capital's extensive public transport system costs just 1 euro a day for an annual pass. Its Habsburg-era coffee houses, architecture, palaces, operas and other cultural institutions makes it a prime tourist destination.

Europe has seven of the world's top 10 cities in the 2015 survey. New Zealand, Australia and Canada each have a city in the top 10.

Auckland in New Zealand was ranked in 3rd, while Wellington came in at No. 12.

In Australia, the survey ranks Sydney as the Australian city with the best living standards. Sydney was the only city to make the top 10 coming in at  No.10. Other Australian capitals also ranked well with Melbourne at No. 16, Perth at 22, Adelaide at 27, Canberra at 30 and Brisbane at 37.

Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, was again ranked lowest in the world. Waves of sectarian violence have swept through the city since the American-led invasion in 2003.

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Top 10 countries with the best quality of life

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

10. Sydney, Australia

Reuters