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MERCER

Best cities for expats: three Swiss destinations among top ten

Nothing in this world can be said to be certain, except for death and taxes…and Swiss cities scoring highly in international rankings for the best places to live.

Best cities for expats: three Swiss destinations among top ten
Basel is in tenth place in the new Mercer quality of living ranking. File photo: Depositphotos

The 2019 Quality of Living Ranking published on Wednesday by human resources consulting firm Mercer is no different.

Zurich comes in second behind perennial top-place getter Vienna, while Geneva is in ninth place – one position lower than last year – and Basel comes in tenth for the second-year running.

Read also: Opinion – 12 things that surprised me about moving to Zurich

Zurich picked up points for its high number of international schools, its safe and reliable transport infrastructure and its excellent health system, said Narcisa Chelaru with Mercer in Zurich in a media release.

The city’s cultural activities and its property options were also cited – despite ongoing concerns about the lack of affordable housing in Switzerland’s biggest city.

Meanwhile, other cities to make the top ten this year include Auckland, Munich and Vancouver – all equal third – as well as Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Copenhagen.

The Swiss capital of Bern also did well, coming in 14th overall.

Read also: 13 reasons why I love living in the Swiss city of Bern

The Mercer rankings are based on 39 factors across ten categories including political and social environment, socio-cultural environment (including censorship and limitations of personal freedom) recreation, housing, economic environment, public services and transport, the natural environment, availability of consumer items and health and education systems.

According to Mercer, the rankings are designed to enable multinational companies and other organizations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

European cities continue to dominated the rankings in 2019 taking 13 of the top 20 places.

The Iraqi capital of Baghdad come bottom of the 231 cities included in the ranking.

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MERCER

Three Swiss cities in quality of life top ten

Zurich leads three Swiss cities that are ranked among the top 10 in the world for quality of living, according to an annual ranking from Mercer, the human resource consulting firm.

Three Swiss cities in quality of life top ten
Zurich's Old Town (Photo: Malcolm Curtis)

Switzerland’s largest city is ranked second in the 2012 survey released on Tuesday, just behind Vienna, Austria and ahead of Auckland (New Zealand), Munich and Vancouver.

Geneva is rated in eighth place, while Bern, the Swiss capital, is in 10th place in a global list dominated by European cities, particularly in the area of infrastructure, despite economic problems in the eurozone.

“Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of a combination of increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures,” Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, said in a statement on the company’s website.
 
“But economic turmoil, political tension and high unemployment in some European countries and high levels of unemployment have continued to be problematic in the region.”

 Mercer conducts the quality of life survey annually to help multinational companies and other organizations pay employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

Its quality of living index list covers 221 cities, ranked against New York as the base city.

This year’s ranking separately identifies the cities with the best infrastructure based on electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transportation, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports.

Surprisingly, perhaps, given Switzerland’s reputation for good infrastructure, Swiss cities did not fare as well in this category as in the overall quality of life assessment.

Singapore is ranked number one for infrastructure followed by German cities Frankfurt and Munich.

Zurich only ranks 24th in this category, while Bern is 25th and Geneva 47th.

Earthquake ravaged Port-au-Prince in Haiti is considered the worst of the 221 cities surveyed for infrastructure.

Baghdad in Iraq is at the bottom of the list for overall quality of life.

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