Geneva, another city in Switzerland retains its position in third place, while Vancouver and Auckland are now joint fourth in the rankings.

The top 10 positions for Europe are dominated by German and Swiss cities, most of them retaining last year’s ranking and scores. Zurich, in second place, is followed by Geneva (3), Dusseldorf (6), Munich (7), Frankfurt (8) and Bern (9).

Bucharest stagnated on 108 positions of 215 while many Eastern European cities have seen an increase in quality of living. Zagreb climbed to 103 from 106, Bratislava advanced three positions up to 88 and Ljubljana up on 78 from 82. The only capital in European Union ranked below Bucharest was Sofia who leaped 4 positions up to 113.

The survey found that once more, the European cities stay on the lead of the ranking. Paris ranked 33rd and Lyon 37th. In UK, London took 38 spot, while Birmingham and Glasgow share the 56 position.

In United States, Honolulu (29) was deemed as the city with the highest quality of living, while in Asia, Singapore ranks 26, followed by Tokyo on 35.

“As a result of the current financial crisis, multinationals are looking to review their international assignment policies with a view to cutting costs. Many companies plan to reduce the number of medium to long-term international assignments and localize their expatriate compensation packages where possible though the hardship allowance, based on quality of living criteria, will remain an essential component of the package,” said Mercer.

The last position of the ranking is occupied by Baghdad. Seven cities in Africa are among the last ten spots: Kinshasa (207), Nouakchott (208), Pointe Noire (209), Khartoum (211), Brazzaville (212), Ndjamena (213) and Bangui (214).

Top Cities - Overall Top 5 Cities - infrastructure
1. Vienna 1. Singapore
2. Zurich 2. Munich
3. Geneva 3. Copenhagen
4. Vancouver 4. Tsukuba
5. Auckland 5. Yokohama


Top 5 cities by region

Top 5 cities - Americas Top 5 cities - Asia Pacific Top 5 cities - Europe Top 5 cities - Middle East & Africa
1. Vancouver 1. Auckland 1. Vienna 1. Dubai
2. Toronto 2. Syndey 2. Zurich 2. Port Louis (Mauritius)
3. Ottawa 3. Wellington 3. Geneva 3. Abu Dhabi
4. Montreal 4. Melbourne 4. Dusseldorf 4. Cape Town
5. Calgary 5. Perth 5. Munich 5. Port Elizabeth (South Africa)

Top 5 cities with the best infrastructure

Top 5 cities -Americas Top 5 cities - Asia Pacific Top 5 cities - Europe Top 5 cities - Middle East & Africa
1. Vancouver 1. Singapore 1. Munich 1. Dubai
2. Atlanta 2. Tsukuba 2. Copenhagen 2. Tel Aviv
3. Montreal 3. Yokohama 3. Dusseldorf 3. Jerusalem
4. Toronto 4. Hong Kong 4. Frankfurt 4. Abu Dhabi
5. Washington 5. Tokyo 5. London 5. Port Louis (Mauritius)