Second Place Once Again

In 2017, Zurich has once again been named the city with the second-highest quality of living in the world. Geneva (in 8th place) and Basel (10) are also ranked in the top ten. Bern retains last year’s 14th position. Heading the list for the eighth time in succession is Vienna. These are the results of the annual Quality of Living comparative survey conducted by consulting firm, Mercer. The rankings are produced to evaluate the quality of living of expatriates in 231 large cities worldwide. This year, the survey is published for the 19th time.

Infrastructure is a Key Factor

Infrastructure is a particularly important criterion affecting quality of living. It includes the city’s water supply, communication and postal services, public transportation, and the range of international flights available from local airports. As a result, in 2017 this sphere was additionally accorded a separate ranking. “The success of foreign assignments is influenced by issues such as ease of travel and communication, sanitation standards, personal safety, and access to public services,” says Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer and responsible for its quality of living research. “Multinational companies need accurate and timely information to help calculate fair and consistent expatriate compensation – a real challenge in locations with a compromised quality of living.”

Quality of Living Plays an Important Role for Companies

“Economic instability, social unrest, and growing political upheaval all add to the complex challenge multinational companies face when analyzing quality of living for their expatriate workforce,” says Ilya Bonic, senior partner and president of Mercer’s Career business. “For multinationals and governments, it is vital to have quality of living information that is accurate, detailed, and reliable. It not only enables these employers to compensate employees appropriately, but it also provides a planning benchmark and insights into the often-sensitive operational environment that surrounds their workforce.” 

“In uncertain times, organizations that plan to establish themselves and send staff to a new location should ensure they get a complete picture of the city, including its viability as a business location and its attractiveness to key talent,” Mr Bonic adds. 

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