So how do Asian cities fare in Mercer's World-wide Quality of Living Survey released this month? The survey, which considered 215 cities, evaluated 39 factors under the following general categories: political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing, and natural environment. New York City was the base city with an index score of 100 (and ranked 39th overall). This information is useful for expatriate assignments for multinational companies. According to Mercer:
“When multinational companies set up expatriate assignments they have to provide attractive reward packages to compensate employees for any negative changes to their quality of living. Moving abroad can be a big upheaval for expatriates and their families, so international assignments tend to carry large price tags, particularly if they are in cities with low living standards facing political unrest or terrorist threats. Many companies use benchmark data to help them structure pay deals at the right level.”
In Asia, the top ranking cities were:
1. Singapore (ranked 34th)
2. Tokyo (35th)
3. Yokohama (37th)
4. Kobe (40th)
5. Osaka (51st)
Hong Kong moved up to 63rd and Shanghai ranked 103rd. In India, the highest ranked cities are tied between Mumbai and New Delhi at 150th. Mercer noted that China and India are on the rise and will most likely move up the ranks in the next few years.
Cities I'd like to note: Top honour goes to Zurich. New Zealand's two biggest cities move up the ranks with Auckland at 5th place and Wellington at 12th! Which city ranked as the lowest? ... Baghdad.