By The Nation
European cities dominated the top spots along with major cities in Australia and New Zealand.
Zurich, Auckland and Munich are ranked second, third, and fourth while fifth-placed Vancouver is the highest-ranked city in North America and the region’s only city in the top 10.
Singapore (26) is the highest-ranked Asian city while Dubai (74) is the top-ranked Middle East and African city. Montevideo in Uruguay (78) takes the top spot for South America.
In the US, San Francisco (27) is followed by Boston (34), Honolulu (36) and Chicago (43). New York City and Seattle are both ranked 44.
Behind Singapore, the second highest-ranked city in Southeast Asia is Kuala Lumpur (84). Manila is ranked 136 and Jakarta 140.
"As with last year’s survey, we continue to recognise emerging cities that are increasingly becoming competitors to traditional business and finance centres," Mercer said.
"These so-called second-tier emerging cites are investing, particularly in infrastructure, to improve their quality-of-living standards and ultimately attract more foreign companies."
Mercer conducts its quality-of-living survey annually to help multinational companies and other employers compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Employee incentives include a quality-of-living allowance and a mobility premium. Mercer’s Quality of Living report provides information and hardship-premium recommendations for over 440 cities throughout the world.
"Taking a short- or long-term work assignment in a new country is both an exciting and challenging experience for employees and their families," said Slagin Parakatil, the principal at Mercer.
"Cultures, societies and comparatively different climates, as well as political instability, high crime rates and poor infrastructure can be difficult to navigate and settle down in for employees and their families.
"Employers need to assess whether their staff and families will encounter any drop in quality of living when relocating and ensure they are fairly compensated for it."
Asia is the region with the largest range in quality-of-living standards, Singapore’s 25th place compared to Tajikistan city Dushanbe’s 214th spot.
Topping the ranking across East Asian cities is Tokyo in 44th place.
Other key cities in this part of the region include Hong Kong (70), Seoul (72), Taipei (83), Shanghai (101) and Beijing (118). Notable emerging East Asia cities include South Korea’s Cheonan (98) Taiwan’s Taichung (99).