Mercer is “a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people.”
This ranking was “Based on 39 factors within ten categories, Mercer’s Quality of Living Reports contain all the key elements you need to calculate hardship allowances for transfers to over 460 cities worldwide.“ The 10 categories cities were scored on included: Consumer goods; Economic environment; Housing; Medical and health considerations; Natural environment; Political and social environment; Public services and transport; Recreation; Schools and education; and Socio-cultural environment.
Mercer’s reason for publishing this annual Quality of Living Survey is to “help multinational companies and other organizations compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.” To go to less desirable cities, employees would be given a hardship allowance in consideration of the placement. These less desirable cities are defined in the survey as a result of having a lower score that is often associated with unstable governments or civil strife.
The top 10 cities when it comes to quality of living, according to the Mercer survey are:
10) Sydney, Australia
10) Bern, Switzerland
9) Copenhagen, Denmark
8) Geneva, Switzerland
7) Frankfurt, Germany
6) Düsseldorf, Germany
5) Vancouver, Canada
4) Munich, Germany
3) Auckland, New Zealand
2) Zurich, Switzerland
1) Vienna, Austria
Canada is the only North American country represented in the top 10 and the survey reflected that Canada offers some of the best quality of living in the world. The other Canadian cities that ranked included Ottawa 14th, Toronto 15th, Montreal 23rd (fell one spot from 2011) and Calgary 32nd (moved up one place from 2011). “One of the things that Vancouver has going for it that the other cities do not is climate,” said Mercer Canada’s Eleana Rodriguez.
The Mercer listing gives an unbiased snapshot of the cities featured allowing those interested to have a more complete grasp of the quality of life. Furthermore the need to give additional consideration for less desirable locations may factor into a business’ willingness to expand or an employee’s willingness to relocate. Although a lot of these types of rankings may seem trivial, this survey illustrates that they can also have value and meaning with the potential to impact decision-making.