Despite recent security issues, social unrest, and concern about the region’s economic outlook, European cities continue to offer some of the worlds’ highest quality-of-living, according to Mercer’s18th annual Quality of Living survey. Safety, in particular, is a key factor for multinationals to consider when sending expatriate workers abroad, both because it raises concerns about the expat’s personal safety and because it has a significant impact on the cost of global compensation programmes.
«Heightened domestic and global security threats, population displacement resulting from violence, and social unrest in key business centres around the world are all elements adding to the complex challenge facing multinational companies when analysing the safety and health of their expatriate workforces,» said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and president of Mercer’s Talent business. «Multinational companies need accurate data and objective methods to determine the cost implications of deteriorating living standards and personal safety issues when compensating expatriates.»
Vienna continues its reign in the top spot for overall quality of living, followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), and Munich (4).Vancouver (5) is North America’s highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place. Mercer’s survey also identifies the personal safety ranking for the full list of cities; it is based on internal stability, crime figures, performance of local law enforcement, and the home country’s relationship with other countries. Luxembourg tops the personal safety list and is followed by Bern, Helsinki, and Zurich – all tied in 2nd place. Baghdad (230) and Damascus (229) are the world’s least safe cities according to the ranking. The safest UK cities are Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow – all ranked in 44th place.
Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other employers to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Employee incentives include a quality-of-living allowance and a mobility premium. Mercer’s Quality of Living surveys provide valuable data as well as hardship premium recommendations for over 440 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 230 of these cities.