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These Cities Have the Best Quality of Life in the World

Plenty of people have a love/hate relationship with the city they live in. Maybe the job opportunities are great but the dating scene sucks, or the weather's phenomenal but the pizza is inedible...

Vienna, Austria | Shutterstock
Vienna, Austria | Shutterstock

Plenty of people have a love/hate relationship with their home city. Maybe the job opportunities are great but the dating scene sucks, or the weather's phenomenal but the pizza is inedible. Overall, it's all about settling on a place where the good outweighs the bad. Though if you're hoping to eventually settle in an objectively nice place, you may want to take a peek at this brand new ranking of the cities that boast the best quality of living in the world. 

This new quality of life ranking comes from the folks at the global consultancy Mercer, who took a look at a broad set of factors to determine the list, including everything from housing and local economies to public services and schools. Specifically, they surveyed over 230 cities around the world by analyzing them according to 39 metrics in 10 different categories, then ranked their findings accordingly. The firm conducts the survey every year to give some broader perspective on how cities are doing in terms of livability, but also to help businesses consider which places may be best to expand into, and accordingly, how to compensate employees they may relocate there.

Topping the list as the city with the best quality of life in the world is Vienna, Austria, which has held that spot for the last 10 years running. Coming in at number two is Zurich, Switzerland, with Vancouver, Canada rounding out the top three. Here are the cities that made it into the top 25 for 2019. 

25. Oslo, Norway
24. Stockholm, Sweden
23. Nuremberg, Germany
22. Montreal, Canada
21. PerthAustralia
20. Hamburg, Germany
19. Ottawa, Canada
18. Luxembourg, Luxembourg
17. Melbourne, Australia
16. Toronto, Canada
15. Wellington, New Zealand
14. Bern, Switzerland
13. Berlin, Germany
12. Amsterdam, Netherlands
11. Sydney, Australia
10. Basel, Switzerland
9. Geneva, Switzerland
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
7. Frankfurt, Germany
6. Düsseldorf, Germany
5. Auckland, New Zealand
4. Munich, Germany
3. Vancouver, Canada
2. Zurich, Switzerland
1. Vienna, Austria

You'll notice not a single city in the top 25 is in the United States (and the only cities that made the cut in the Northern Hemisphere are in Canada). In fact, according to the 2019 ranking, San Francisco is the highest-ranked American representative in the list, coming in at 34. Seattle, New York, Honolulu, and Boston are the only other US cities to make it into the top 50, and all US cities fell in the rankings this year except for New York, which rose one place thanks to falling crime statistics, according to Mercer.

Still, Western Europe has the best representation on the list, and fortunately many top-ranked cities are in countries that are famously American ex-pat friendly

h/t Travel & Leisure


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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.