What do you look for in a city? Healthcare provisions, education, standard of living, facilities for a fulfilling social life, close proximity to an airport, infrastructure … these are all important considerations when relocating. How do we sort out the best from the worst? Well here are the top five, according to Mercer’s Quality of Living Report 2012.
1. Vienna, Austria
The hills are alive! You know the drill, (and yes I know that movie was in was Saltzburg). Austria as a whole is picturesque, so it makes perfect sense that the number one spot goes to its largest city, Vienna. Very cultural, perfect for those that like olde-worlde with a touch of the modern, and anyone who likes to get out and about into the countryside. If this is what you like, this could be your new home! Of course, the sensible things have to come into play, and Vienna is a rich city, with a diverse mix of businesses calling it their base.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
Swiss chocolate is enough to tempt me, but I guess we need to look a little more deeply than that! Switzerland is a world financial hotspot, so expect lots of job opportunities. The low rate of tax is also attractive, although bear in mind, the cost of living is high. Like Vienna, Zurich is close to beautiful natural surroundings, so from a social and leisure point of view, this is second to none.
3. Auckland, New Zealand
Outdoorsy, adventurous, cultural and downright beautiful, New Zealand is a place most of us dream of visiting. Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand, and this is where most of the high-flying jobs are to be found, with a serious career, a very real possibility. It’s no surprise that the cities on the top five according to this report, are all surrounded and very close to some beautiful scenery.
4. Munich, Germany
A big economic hitter, Munich is rich in job opportunities, and with a high standard of living to boot. Fantastic public services and a beautiful city on top, it’s no surprise that there is such an ethnic mix around the city, with many residents from overseas calling it their home. Close to other major German cities, and in the centre of Europe, making travel easy, Munich remains at the top of the ‘best of’ list.
5. Vancouver, Canada
Canada has always been on my wish list, and Vancouver is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. It has consistently been on the top list for places to live, and it’s not surprising that it is a varied city, again close to beautiful nature and with plentiful job opportunities in many industries. It is also a very ‘green’ city, so it doesn’t have the feel of being in the smog or too polluted, like some cities have a tendency towards. Generally a high standard of living welcomes visitors, with good social opportunities too.
The above top five have all been on the list for some time, and chop and change slightly every year. There many cities offering job opportunities, a better standard of life, and social opportunities too, but where you live really comes down to personal preference. The Mercer report gives general guidance, but if you could choose, where would you live?