Quality of life in Amsterdam among the best in the world

Amsterdam is the city with the world's 12th best quality of the life in the world, just as it was last year, according to the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey.

Mercer conducts this survey each year to help multinational companies and other organisations compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. This year, the Quality of Living index ranks 221 cities, with New York as the base city.

European cities continue to dominate the ranking, with 15 European cities ranking in the Top 25. Vienna is ranked first in the world, while Baghdad finishes last, and the base city of New York ranks just 44th. Switzerland has 3 countries in the Top 10, while Germany has 5 cities in the Top 20.

Top 10
 1. Vienna
 2. Zurich
 3. Auckland
 4. Munich
 5. Vancouver
 6. Düsseldorf
 7. Frankfurt
› 8. Geneva
 9. Copenhagen
 10. Bern (tie)
 10. Sydney (tie)

Compared to the list of most expensive cities in the world published earlier this year, it seems that you generally "get what you pay for" in terms of quality of life, although quality is comparatively cheap in Amsterdam (12th highest quality vs. 23rd most expensive), and even more so in Vienna (1st vs. 17th) and Auckland (3rd vs. 25th).

This year’s report also features a separate ranking of cities with the best infrastructure (e.g. public transportation, traffic congestion). Singapore tops this second ranking, followed by Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, and Düsseldorf.

Mercer evaluates living conditions in cities worldwide based on factors in 10 categories: political and social environment (e.g. crime), economic environment, socio-cultural environment (e.g. censorship), medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods (e.g. availability of food), housing, and natural environment.

Individual reports are available for each city surveyed, as are multiple-city comparisons. Details available here.

Carly Blair


Carly Blair



Leave a comment