Hyderabad ranks highest among seven Indian cities in a global ranking of quality of living released on Tuesday, but they are nowhere near the top and as low as 139 and below in the survey.
Vienna was assessed the best city to live in and Baghdad the worst, according to the 18th Mercer Quality of Life index that helps multinational companies and other firms compensate employees fairly while placing them on international assignments.
German cities dominated the index that does not list London, Paris or New York in the first 35 cities.
New Delhi figured last among the seven Indian cities in the list, most likely due to high levels of pollution. The first three Indian cities in the list are non-metros: Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru.
Vienna continued its reign in the top for overall quality of living, followed in the next three slots by Zurich, Auckland and Munich. Vancouver (at number 5) was North America’s highest ranked city, and Singapore was the highest ranked Asian city, holding 26th place.
The survey 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 relations with other countries.
Luxembourg topped the personal safety list and was 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.
“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, 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.”
Slagin Parakatil of Mercer said ensuring the needs of expatriates and their families are met, wherever work takes them, is an “essential part of talent retention and recruitment strategies for most multinationals”.
He added: “Other elements that add to safety costs in the host location are obtaining suitable and well secured accommodations; having an in-house comprehensive expatriate security programme and providing access to reputable professional evacuation services and medical support firms, and finally, providing security training and guarded office premises.”