Hyderabad is ranked the top Indian city in the quality of living ranking for the second consecutive year, as per Mercer’s Quality of Living Report 2016. The city has slipped one rank from last year to 139, due to increased power disruptions and extreme weather situations, particularly in May 2015. At that time, extreme heat caused approximately 2,000 deaths nationwide. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were particularly affected, with more than 1,700 deaths recorded.
Other Indian cities rank much lower with Pune slotted at 144. The survey highlights that Indian cities haven’t made much progress on the quality of living scale, scoring the same as last year. Over time, cities like Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai have emerged as cities of choice due to factors such as lower crime rate, lesser air pollution and improved options for international and reputable English-speaking schools. Both Hyderabad and Pune rank higher for quality of living than the country’s more traditional business centres, Mumbai and New Delhi ranked at 152 and 161, respectively.
Globally, Vienna has been rated as the city with the best quality of living for the third consecutive time, 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.
Despite recent security issues, social unrest and concern about the region’s economic outlook, European cities continue to offer some of the world’s highest quality of living. Safety, in particular, is a key factor for multinationals to consider when sending expatriate workers, 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.
Mercer’s Quality of Living surveys provide data and recommendations for over 450 cities worldwide. This year’s ranking includes 230 of these cities. The parameters taken into account for the survey include political and social environment, medical care and health considerations, public services, recreation facilities and natural environment among others. Mercer’s survey also identifies the personal safety ranking for the full list of cities. It is based on internal stability, crime figure levels, 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 second place. Baghdad (230) and Damascus (229) are the world’s least safe cities according to the ranking. The safest Indian cities are Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru – all ranked 113, 121 and 123, respectively.
The global scenario
Asia has considerable variation in quality of living, according to Mercer’s Quality of Living Report 2016. In 26th place, Singapore remains its highest ranked city, whereas Dhaka (214) is the lowest. Following Singapore in South-East Asia is Kuala Lumpur (86). Other key cities include Bangkok (129), Manila (136), and Jakarta (142). In the Pacific, New Zealand and Australian cities are some of the highest-ranked cities globally, with Auckland in 3rd, Sydney in 10th, Wellington in 12th, and Melbourne in 16th place.
Despite economic uncertainties, Western European cities are among those with highest quality of living worldwide. They fill seven places in the top-10 list. Vienna continues to lead the ranking and has done so in the last seven published rankings. It is followed by Zurich (2), Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), and Copenhagen (9). The lowest ranking cities in Europe are Kiev (176), Tirana (179), and Minsk (190).
Quality of Living remains high in North America, where Canadian cities dominate the top of the list. Vancouver (5) is the highest ranking city, followed by Toronto (15) and Ottawa (17). In the United States, San Francisco (28) ranks highest for quality of living, followed by Boston (34), Honolulu (35), Chicago (43), and New York City (44).
Middle East and Africa
Dubai (75) continues to rank highest for quality of living across Africa and the Middle East, followed by Abu Dhabi (81) and Port Louis (83) in Mauritius.