Amsterdam ranks 11th in worldwide quality of life index

Amsterdam is making its way up the charts in terms of its international reputation, coming in 11th overall in the Mercer 2014 Quality of Living rankings. Previously, the city sat in 12th place.

The Mercer Quality of Living rankings are aimed at employers seeking to provide fair compensation for their expatriate workers, and at municipalities hoping to improve the local standard of living. The survey assesses approximately 460 cities worldwide, of which 223 are ranked through a cross-comparison of 39 factors.

These factors are grouped into 10 categories, and include concepts such as economic environment, schools and education, political and social environment and public services and transportation.

Top 5 cities 2014

 Vienna, Austria
 Zurich, Switzerland
 Auckland, New Zealand
 Munich, Germany
 Vancouver, Canada

Improved infrastructure credited for Amsterdam’s gain

Mercer’s Antoni van Huissteden attributes the positive gain in Amsterdam’s ranking to improvements in accessibility within the city. For years, Amsterdam has been working to enhance infrastructure, but this has turned much of the city into a convoluted construction site.

However, further development on the North-South metro line has alleviated this situation in the past year, while the reopening of the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum has contributed to a cultural flourishing in the city.

European cities lead the world

Europe continues to produce some of the world’s top cities when it comes to quality of life and is an especially desirable location for expatriates. Düsseldorf and Frankfurt also made Mercer’s top 10, coming in at sixth and seventh place.

According to Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher for the Mercer Quality of Living survey, this information comes as no surprise.

"Healthcare, infrastructure, and recreational facilities [in Europe] are generally of a very high standard," he states. "Political stability and relatively low crime levels enable expatriates to feel safe and secure in most locations. The region has seen few changes in living standards over the last year."

Georgia’s Tbilisi is the lowest-ranked European city, in 191st place overall. However, the situation there is constantly advancing, as consumer goods become more available, and the country stabilizes.

North America also well-ranked overall

In comparison to Europe, North America also experiences a high standard of living, with Canadian cities dominating the regional rankings. Vancouver, number five overall, is the top-ranked location within North America.

In contrast, Asia and South America reflect a wide range of quality-of-living conditions, while the Middle East and Africa generally fill out the lower end of the spectrum. Baghdad comes in at the very bottom of the Mercer list.

Source: BNR, Mercer

Ellen Keith


Ellen Keith

A Canadian with Dutch roots, Ellen has had half her heart in the Netherlands since the day she was born. After years of visits and studying abroad, she finally made...

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