Amsterdam ranks highly on Mercer 2018 Quality of Living Ranking

Amsterdam ranks highly on Mercer 2018 Quality of Living Ranking

Amsterdam has managed to stay in the same place as it was last year on the Mercer Quality of Living Ranking (QOL), namely 12th place. In 2016, Amsterdam ranked slightly better, in 11th place.

Mercer 2018 Quality of Living report

Each year, Mercer surveys the quality of living in cities all over the world according to key factors that are important for expats. The QOL report enables organisations and multinational companies to compensate employees fairly should they be sent on an international assignment.

This year, the 20th edition of the QOL evaluated 231 cities according to 39 factors, which fall under the following 10 categories:

  • Consumer goods
  • Economic environment
  • Housing
  • Medical and health considerations
  • Natural environment
  • Political and Social environment
  • Public services and transport
  • Recreation
  • Schools and education
  • Socio-cultural environment

Top 10 Quality of Life cities

Of the cities ranking in the top 10 of QOL, eight are Western European. Amsterdam just misses the top 10, with 12th place. The Dutch city performed well in the categories of economic climate and schools and education, but fell short due to increasing traffic problems.

Vienna, Austria topped the top of the QOL ranking, as it has done for the last nine years. The Austrian city provides a high level of security for expats and residents alike, as well as many cultural and recreational facilities and well-structured public transport.

Coming in second place was Zürich, Switzerland, followed by Auckland, New Zealand and Munich, Germany, which share third place. Munich came in fourth place last year but jumped to third place this year, as the city has been continuously investing in high-tech infrastructure and promoting its cultural facilities to attract businesses and talent.

In fifth place was Vancouver, Canada. Of the top 10 QOL cities, only Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia, are non-European. Here is the top 10:

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Zürich, Switzerland
3. Auckland, New Zealand
3. Munich, Germany
5. Vancouver, Canada
6. Düsseldorf, Germany
7. Frankfurt, Germany
8. Geneva, Switzerland
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
10. Basel, Switzerland
10. Sydney, Australia

At the bottom of the ranking, you will mainly find war-torn countries. Coming in 229th place is Sana’a from the Yemen Arab Republic, followed by Bangui in the Central African Republic in 230th place. In last place is Baghdad in Iraq.

20 years of QOL Europe

In the last 20 years in Europe, living standards have increased greatly. This is largely due to improvements in personal safety, public services, availability of consumer goods and recreational facilities as well as transportation offerings.

The 10 European countries with the most improved living standards in 2018 compared to 1998 are as follows:

1. Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
2. Bratislava, Slovakia
3. Belgrade, Serbia
4. Zagreb, Croatia
5. Ljublijana, Slovenia
6. Prague, Czech Republic
7. Warsaw, Poland
8. Lisbon, Portugal
9. Rome, Italy
10. Vienna, Austria

At the top of this list is Sarajevo, which has shown a 21,5 percent improvement. At number 10, Vienna has improved by 5,2 percent in the last 20 years.

For more information, please see the Mercer 2018 Quality of Living Ranking.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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