Auckland has again been named as the third best city in the world for expats to work and live, behind Austrian capital Vienna and Switzerland's largest city, Zurich.
The survey, designed to help companies fairly compensate employees for international assignments, covers more than 450 cities throughout the world. This year’s ranking includes 231 of these cities.
Auckland beat out Australian cities Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, while Wellington dropped two places from last year’s survey, coming in at 15th. Sydney was the only Australian city to make the top 10 – sharing 10th spot with the Swiss city of Basel.
Both New Zealand and Australia are regarded as a highly desirable and low-risk place to live, but both fall well behind Europe, where despite increased political and financial volatility cities offer the world’s highest quality of living.
Munich took fourth place, while Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva and Copenhagen fill positions six to nine. Vancouver, which ranked in fifth place, was the only other non-European city to make the top 10.
At the other end of the spectrum, Baghdad in Iraq took at the unenviable title as having the lowest quality of living for expat workers.
The annual survey, considers factors like a city’s political stability, crime levels, economic environment, personal and cultural freedom, health services, standard of education, transportation, housing and environment.
Lorraine Jennings, Mercer’s Global Mobility leader in Australia and New Zealand says our cities rank amongst the best in the world due to safety, cultural diversity, a skilled local workforce and robust infrastructure.
“There is room for improvement in the rankings though,” Jennings says. “Traffic congestion in Auckland and Melbourne as well as low scores on the availability of international flights and international schools contributed to lower-than-expected results in both countries.”
Infrastructure - how we rank?
This year’s survey paid particular attention to city infrastructure; and for infrastructure rankings no New Zealand city featured in the top 10. Across the Pacific Region, Sydney ranked eighth, Perth ranked 32nd, Melbourne 34th, Brisbane 37th and Auckland down the list at 43rd.
Singapore topped the infrastructure rankings, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in second place. Baghdad (230) and Port au Prince (231) rank last.
Mercer’s lead researcher for the Quality of Living survey, Slagin Parakatil, says a city’s infrastructure – or lack of it – can considerably affect the quality of living that expatriates and their families experience on a daily basis.
“Access to a variety of transport options, being connected locally and internationally and access to electricity and drinkable water are among the essential needs of expatriates arriving in a new location on assignment,” Parakatil says.
“A well-developed infrastructure can also be a key competitive advantage for cities trying to attract multinational companies, talent, and foreign investments.”
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