Considering an international assignment? Check out the best cities for quality of living!

Mercer (Global Human Resources consulting firm) recently published their 2019 Quality of Living data report. This report examined over 200 cities and considered many factors that expats and assignees will be considering when thinking of relocating, including;

  • School and education;
  • Natural environment;
  • Housing;
  • Public services;
  • Transport.

With developments in technology, the numbers of hours we spend undertaking chores such as washing, cooking and cleaning has dramatically reduced. We are continuously looking for convenient opportunities to increase our down time and improve our quality of living.

Most of us can check emails regularly or jump onto a video conference during the evening. Working hours have increased as a result and we are now available 24/7 at the click of a button. Due to our ‘always online’ lifestyles we are all looking for ways to maintain and continue building our careers, as well as balancing a great quality of life.

Mercer’s report highlights the destinations that are furthest on the road to achieving the perfect balance. 8 out of the top 10 cities ranked best for quality of living are in Europe, so not much has changed since we saw the same findings in last year’s 2018 Quality Living report. It’s clear that these European locations have the right idea when it comes to quality of living!


This year Vienna tops the list, coming in as the best city for quality of living. Getting around in Vienna is relatively easy and cost effective; you can purchase an annual ticket for as little as €1 per day and most transport services run for 24 hours on weekends.

Vienna also has some of the best universities in the world making it a preferred choice for parents when considering where to raise their children. Aside from this, Vienna has some of the world’s best museums and a globally famous opera house!


Switzerland is an expensive place to live due to high cost housing and tax – however 3 cities in Switzerland have made their way into the top 10; Zurich 2nd, Geneva 9th and Basel 10th. Although on the surface it appears this is an expensive place to live, residents would argue that this is made up for with quality infrastructure, real estate, education and healthcare facilities.

Canada, Germany and New Zealand

Other cities that were in the top 10 included joint 3rd place for Vancouver, Munich and Auckland, closely followed by Düsseldorf, Germany (6th), Frankfurt Germany (7th) and Copenhagen, Denmark (8th).

In your opinion and from personal experience, which city truly presents the best quality of life for its inhabitants?

Written by Amber Pittard – Global Account Manager – Global Mobility & Expatriate Services at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions.