Mercer’s New Quality of Living Report 2009
Mercer has just released their widely recognized quality of living survey and it has uncovered some pretty impressive cities and ways of living, as well as some devastating figures for some parts of the world. To view the report in full, as well as other figures relating to the report, you can head to the Mercer home page. However to see the full report you will have to purchase the guide.
Big Changes for Quality of Living 2009
There were a number of notable facts and figures released including the anticipated list of the top 10 places to live in 2009 and of course the 10 worst. Tokyo took over the top spot as the most expensive city in the world for expatriates, stealing the position from Moscow who held onto it tightly last year. On the other hand, Johannesburg was named as the cheapest place to live for foreigners.
What may surprise a few people is how relevant some Asian cities have become as they, along with some European cities, dominated the top of the list. This year brought about some major fluctuations compared to what people had become used to due to some major depreciation in currencies over the last year.
Overall Mercer’s quality of living report takes 215 cities into consideration and gathers their information via the help of governments and many international companies.
With that all said and out of the way, let’s get to the point and talk about the top 10 cities to live in for 2009, and of course the worst. As a bit of a warning, we all know that life is what you make of it. Some cities on the bottom of the list may not even sound too bad, while the top cities to live in could make you cringe. Take it all with a grain of salt.
Mercer’s Top Places to Live in 2009
#10- Sydney, Australia
Sydney is the largest city in Australia with just over 4.5 million people. The cultural attractions, laid back atmosphere, stunning beaches, and awe inspiring harbour are the main tourist draws for Sydney. The one negative is that Sydney was also named the world’s 15th most expensive place to live.
#9- Bern, Switzerland
It’s true, Switzerland isn’t just about chocolate. Bern has a population of approximately 128,000 people which makes it the fifth most populace city in Switzerland. The city boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is the medieval centre, and was also the home to Albert Einstein for a period of time.
#8- Frankfurt, Germany
The Germans had a big impact on this list overall, as you will see with the next few top cities on the list. Frankfurt holds the prize for being the largest financial centre in all of Europe and is the home of the German Federal Bank and the European Central Bank. Some of the biggest tourist draws are the towering, modern skyscrapers and the Gothic cathedral that dates back to the 14th century.
Munich is the 3rd largest city in Germany and contains 1.36 million people. The city is most well known for hosting the Olympics in 1972 after miraculously recovering from the devastation of World Ward II.
#6- Dusseldorf, Germany
Dusseldorf is the telecommunications, fashion and advertising hub of Germany and is located directly on the Rhine. The biggest event the city holds is the Dusseldorf Karneval which brings millions of people to the city from around the world, and millions of dollars. The city also boasts the fact that it is a twin city of Cairo, Moscow, Reading and Warsaw.
#5- Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland is home to roughly 31% of the entire population of New Zealand. The city is nicknamed the city of sails because of the two gorgeous harbours that can be found here, Manukau in the South and Waitemata in the North.
#4- Vancouver, Canada
For years Vancouver has been seen as one of the best places to live and one of the cleanest cities in the world. The city is a proud centre for film production and shopping and boasts one of the most ethnically-diverse populations in the world.
#3- Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva is not home to an overly large amount of people but is widely recognized around the world. The city has a population of approximately 185,000 and is the home of a number of Red Cross and UN agencies. Diplomacy is the main theme and the city is also the origin of the internet.
Zurich is one of the richest cities in all of Europe and is home to some major international companies. UBS, IBM, Microsoft and Google all have offices in the city as Zurich is home to a dizzying array of cultures and multilingual citizens.
Vienna is officially the best city in the world to live in according to Mercer’s quality of living survey. Billy Joel has coined a song about it and it was the birthplace for both Sigmund Freud and Marie Antoinette. The biggest bragging rights for the city come through extreme political, cultural and economic strength.
Now onto the worst places to live in the world, statistically.
Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey Worst Places to Live
Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti but doesn’t exactly offer a princely way of life. The cities approximate 2.5 million residents reside mostly in the slums scattered throughout. Tourism is still a major part of the city’s economy despite all of the political unrest.
#9- Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Combined with nearby city Brazzaville, Kinshasa has an estimated population of 8 million. Other than the large population the city is most well known for the incredibly high crime rate including over 100 murders a year per every 100,000 citizens.
Nouakchott is the largest city in Mauritania and has grown quite considerably since 1950 when it was just a small fishing town. Now the city houses 900,000 people, most of which moved there to escape continuous droughts in neighboring areas.
#7-Pointe Noire, Congo
A city in Congo once again makes the list. Pointe Noire is one of the largest oil producing cities in all of Central Africa and is the second largest city in Congo. A number of tourists risk visiting the area for the abundance of surfing beaches even though violent crimes and carjacking are common occurrences.
#6- Sana’a, Yemen
Since the 6th century BC, Sana’a has been the home to a number of ancient buildings and has become a World Heritage Site. However, an increase of violent attacks on foreigners and the recent U.S. Embassy bombing has meant that it has been crossed off the list for many tourists.
#5- Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan has been the home for quite an impressive economic surge recently thanks to the oil money that exists in the country. It is located near the White and Blue Nile which makes for some beautiful scenery, but the city is overrun with corruption and a monstrous gap between rich and poor.
Brazzaville was founded in 1880 by a European pioneer and is held up thanks to the tanning and textile industries. The nineties saw a wide range of civil wars and political conflicts and the city has yet to recover.
Ndjamena was founded back in 1900 by the French and now has a population over 700,000. The city has never been able to recover from the major damage that occurred during 1979-82 in the civil war and has been affected by rebel attacks as recently as 2008.
#2- Bangui, Central African Republic
Bangui was originally a French military post and now has a population of over 500,000. The city revolves around the manufacturing of soap, beer and textiles and is also home to archeological sites that have been labeled as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
#1- Baghdad, Iraq
Mercer has labeled Baghdad as the worst city to live in the entire world. It is built upon a very rich heritage yet is still affected by a severely high level of violence that has ripped large portions of Iraq completely apart.