Who has best quality of life

Vancouver has the highest quality of life among major cities in North America, according to new global rankings.

Overall, B.C.'s largest city tied for third in the annual rankings released last week by Mercer. That put Vancouver on an even footing with Auckland and Munich.

Perennial winner Vienna has topped the survey for 10 years running. Zurich snagged second place.

European cities dominated the rankings, taking 13 of the top 20 spots.

But, Canadian cities continue to score higher than those in the U.S., especially for safety. Every U.S. city covered in the analysis except New York fell in the rankings this year, while Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary shared top spot for personal safety.

Overall, Toronto came in 16th for quality of life, with Ottawa in 19th place, Montreal 21st and Calgary 32nd.

The top overall U.S. city was San Francisco, at 24th. 

Mercer ranked more than 450 cities worldwide 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, and natural environment.

The safety rankings were a new addition to the survey this year, with Luxembourg ranked No. 1. It was followed by Helsinki and the Swiss cities of Basel, Bern and Zurich all tied for second. 

Damascus was the most dangerous in 231st place.


Overall, Baghdad was at the bottom for overall quality of life, but "has witnessed significant improvements related to both safety and health services," Mercer noted.

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