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World's 30 best cities to live in

Last updated on: December 10, 2012 09:40 IST

World's 30 best cities to live in

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European cities continue to dominate the list of world's best cities to live in, according to the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey.

Globally, the cities with the lowest quality of living are Khartoum, Sudan (217); N'Djamena, Chad (218); Port-au-Prince, Haiti (219); and Bangui, Central African Republic (220). Baghdad, Iraq (221) ranks last.

Mercer's Quality of Living index list covers 221 cities, ranked against New York as the base city.

Here's a list of the world's best cities to live in...

Vienna, Austria (Rank 1)

Vienna retains the top spot as the city with the world's best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey.

Vienna has a vibrant cultural environment, reliable public transport system comprehensive health care and moderate but rising housing costs.

Mercer analyses living conditions according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:

Political and social environment
Economic environment
Socio-cultural environment
Medical and health considerations
Schools and education
Public services and transportation
Recreation
Consumer goods
Housing
Natural environment

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Image: Christmas lights illuminate Vienna's city centre Am Graben.
Photographs: Lisi Niesner/Reuters.

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Zurich, Switzerland (Rank 2)

Europe has 15 cities among the world's top 25 cities for quality of living.

"Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of a combination of increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures," said Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer.

"But economic turmoil, political tension and high unemployment in some European countries and high levels of unemployment have continued to be problematic in the region," he added.

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Image: Residents remove snow from their cars after heavy snowfalls in Zurich.
Photographs: Reuters.

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Auckland, New Zealand (Rank 3)

Auckland was classified as a Beta World City in the World Cities Study Group's inventory by Loughborough University in 2010.

"Factors such as internal stability, law enforcement effectiveness, crime levels and medical facilities are important to consider when deciding on an international assignment, and the impact on daily life that could be encountered by the expatriate in overseas placements," said Slagin Parakatil.

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Image: The Luna Rossa AC72 catamaran sails in the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland.
Photographs: Carlo Borlenghi/Handout/Reuters.

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Munich, Germany (Rank 4)

Munich is a financial and publishing hub, frequently tops as the preferred destination for migration and expatriate location in livability rankings.

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Image: A house decorated with Christmas lights and figurines is lit up in Freising, about 30 km (18.6 miles) north of Munich.
Photographs: Michaela Rehle/Reuters.
Tags: Munich , Rank , Germany

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Vancouver, Canada (Rank 5)

For more than a decade, Vancouver has been rated as as one of the world's most "liveable cities".

The Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged it as the first city to rank among the top-ten of the world's most liveable cities for five consecutive years

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Image: Landscapers groom the grass after it was given its annual mowing on the roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver.
Photographs: Andy Clark/Reuters.

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Dusseldorf, Germany (Rank 6)

Dusseldorf an international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs, also scored high in the best cities list.

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Photographs: Gregor Ciecior/Wikimedia Commons.

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Frankfurt, Germany (Rank 7)

Frankfurt is an international centre for finance, commerce, culture, transport, education, and tourism.

Considered an alpha world city as listed by the Loughborough University group, it is also ranked 10th among global cities by the Global Power City Index 2011.

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Image: A woman from China stands with a shopping trolley in front of a Duty Free store at the Fraport airport in Frankfurt.
Photographs: Lisi Niesner/Reuters.

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Geneva, Switzerland (Rank 8)

Geneva was ranked as the world's thirteenth most important financial centre for competitiveness by the Global Financial Centres Index.

In 2009, Geneva was ranked third in quality of life of any city in the world behind Vienna and Zurich.

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Photographs: Norbert Aepli/Wikimedia Commons.

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Copenhagen, Denmark (Rank 9)

Copenhagen has been recognized as one of the cities with the best quality of life. It is also considered one of the world's most environmentally friendly cities.

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Image: Copenhagen.
Photographs: Mik Hartwell/Wikimedia Commons.

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Bern, Switzerland (Rank 10)

In 1983, the historic old town in the centre of Bern became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Bern is ranked among the world's top ten cities for the best quality of life. 

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Image: Bern.
Photographs: Hauser Christoph/Wikimedia Commons.Hauser Christoph/Wikimedia Commons.

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Sydney, Australia (Rank 10)

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. Sydney often ranks highly in various world cities rankings. 

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Image: Seals enjoy Christmas treats left next to an artificial snowman at Taronga zoo in Sydney.
Photographs: Daniel Munoz/Reuters.

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Rank 12)

Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group.

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Image: A worker at the miniature city of Madurodam decorates a Christmas tree with in the surroundings of the Royal palace on the Dam in Amsterdam.
Photographs: Reuters.

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Wellington, New Zealand (Rank 13)

Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand.

In 2008, Wellington was classified as a Gamma World City in the World Cities Study Group's inventory by Loughborough University.

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Image: Wellington.
Photographs: Entropy1963/Wikimedia Commons.

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Ottawa, Canada (Rank 14)

Ottawa, the capital of Canada is the second largest city in Ontario and the fourth largest city in the country.

Mercer ranks Ottawa with the second highest quality of living of any large city in the Americas, and 14th highest in the world.

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Image: Ottawa.
Photographs: SimonP/Wikimedia Commons.

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Toronto, Canada (Rank 15)

As Canada's commercial capital, it is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange and the nation's five largest banks.

Toronto is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group.

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Image: People go shopping in a mall in downtown Toronto.
Photographs: Mark Blinch/Reuters.

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Berlin, Germany (Rank 16)

Berlin is home to renowned universities, research institutes, orchestras and museums.

The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks and a high quality of living.

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Image: Girls dressed as angels walk through a Christmas market at the Charlottenburg castle in Berlin.
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters.
Tags: Berlin , Germany

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Hamburg, Germany (Rank 17)

Hamburg is a major transport hub in Northern Germany and is one of the most affluent cities in Europe.

The city is a major tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors.

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Image: Hamburg.
Photographs: Dontpanic/Wikimedia Commons.

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Melbourne, Australia (Rank 17)

Melbourne was ranked as the world's most liveable city in ratings published by the Economist Group's Intelligence Unit in August 2011 and again in 2012.

It was also ranked in the top ten Global University Cities by RMIT's Global University Cities Index and and the top 20 Global Innovation Cities by the 2thinknow Global Innovation Agency.

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Image: A family walk past a Christmas window display at a department store in suburban Melbourne.
Photographs: Mick Tsikas/Reuters.

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Luxembourg (Rank 19)

Luxembourg is one of the world's most developed countries, with an advanced economy and the world's second highest GDP (PPP) per capita, according to the IMF.

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Image: The Petrusse river is seen in this general view of the city of Luxembourg.
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters.
Tags: IMF , Luxembourg , PPP , GDP

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Stockholm, Sweden (Rank 19)

Captial of Sweden, Stockholm is known for its scenic locales, buildings and architecture, clean water, and many parks.

It is sometimes referred to as 'Venice of the North'. 

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Image: A 36-metre tall Christmas tree is lit up in central Stockholm.
Photographs: Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix Sweden/Reuters.

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Perth, Australia (Rank 21)

Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia.

Perth was ranked 9th in the Economist Intelligence Unit's August 2012 list of the world's most liveable cities.

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Image: Perth.
Photographs: JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons.

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Brussels, Belgium (Rank 22)

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union (EU). It is also the largest urban area in Belgium.

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Image: A traditional Christmas tree (front C) is seen near an illuminated steel installation at Brussels' Grand Place.
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters.
Tags: Belgium , Brussels , Rank , EU

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Montreal, Canada (Rank 23)

Montreal is called 'Canada's Cultural Capital' by Monocle and recently was named a UNESCO City of Design.

The city is an important hub of commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, films and world affairs.

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Photographs: S. Lacasse/Wikimedia Commons.

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Nurnberg, Germany (Rank 24)

Nurnberg is still an important industrial centre with a strong standing in the markets of Central and Eastern Europe. 

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Image: Nurnberg.
Photographs: Janericloebe/Wikimedia Commons.

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Singapore (Rank 25)

Singapore is the world's fourth leading financial centre.

In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third highest per capita income in the world.

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Image: A guest swims in the infinity pool of the Skypark that tops the Marina Bay Sands hotel towers.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters.
Tags: Singapore , Rank

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Canberra, Australia (Rank 26)
A vibrant and growing city, Canberra, ranked 26th in the livability index, is the capital city of Australia.

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Image: Canberra.
Photographs: Petaholmes/Wikimedia Commons.

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Stuttgart, Germany (Rank 27)

Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-W rttemberg in southern Germany.

The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart ranked 30th globally in Mercer's 2010 liveability rankings, and 7th in Germany.

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Image: Stuttgart.
Photographs: Konstantin.polakov/Wikimedia Commons.

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Honolulu, HI, United States (Rank 28)

Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Hawaii.

The city had over 470 high rises, which is ranked fourth in the United States behind New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

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Photographs: Marshman/Wikimedia Commons.

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Adelaide, Australia (Rank 29)

The fifth largest city in Australia, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food, wine and culture, its long beachfronts, and its large defence and manufacturing sectors.

It ranks highly in terms of liveability, being listed in the Top 10 of The Economist's World's Most Liveable Cities index in 2010.

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Image: Adelaide.
Photographs: Adam.J.W.C./Wikimedia.

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Paris, France (Rank 29)

Paris is the capital and largest city in France.  Paris is today one of the world's leading business and cultural centres and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts make it one of the world's major global cities.




Image: Christmas holiday lights hang from trees to illuminate Champs Elysees in Paris as rush hour traffic fills the avenue leading up to the Arc de Triomphe.
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters.
Tags: Paris , France , Rank

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