The World's Most Livable Cities

March 18, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

The “livability” of a city is measured by several factors, including education, health care, and housing, to name a few. Dominating this year’s list of the world’s most livable cities is Western Europe.

Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm, has released its 2017 ranking of the most livable cities in the world.

Every year, the firm analyzes 450 cities throughout the world based on 10 factors: political and social environment; economic environment; sociocultural environment; medical and health considerations; schools and education; public services and transportation; recreation; consumer goods; housing; and natural environment.

As in previous years, European cities took most of the top rankings—it supports a great standard of living for its residents. The highest-ranked city in the United States was San Francisco, which came in 29th place on the list.

Here are the top 10 cities around the world that ranked the most livable.

1. Vienna, Austria*

2. Zurich, Switzerland

3. Auckland, New Zealand

4. Munich, Germany

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Dusseldorf, Germany

7. Frankfurt, Germany

8. Geneva, Switzerland

9. Copenhagen, Denmark

10. Basel, Switzerland

Singapore was the most livable city in Asia, coming in at 25th on the list. For South America, Montevideo ranked best in the 79th slot.

Of US cities other than San Francisco that made the list, Boston ranked 35th, Honolulu ranked 36th, New York City ranked 44th, and Seattle ranked 45th. Due to high crime rates in Chicago and Los Angeles, those cities ranked far lower than last year’s ranking, moving to 47th and 58th places, respectively.

London, the highest-ranked city in the United Kingdom, ranked 40th for quality of living but 6th for infrastructure.

The lowest-ranking cities on the high-ranking continent of Europe were St. Petersburg and Tirana, which both ranked 176th, along with Minsk at 189th.

Across Africa and the Middle East, Dubai continues to rank the highest across the region. The city came in 74th, with Abu Dhabi following in the 79th position.

*Top ranked for the 8th year in a row.