Houston lowest "quality of living" in U.S.
World-wide quality of living survey
London , 10 April 2006
- Zurich scores highest for quality of living, Baghdad ranks lowest
- Cities in Canada , Europe and Australia dominate the top of the rankings
- Honolulu is the highest ranking city in the US ; Houston is the lowest
- London remains at position 39; Birmingham and Glasgow both climb one place to joint 55th position
Zurich ranks as the world’s top city for quality of living, according to a survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The city scores 108.2 and is only marginally ahead of Geneva , which scores 108.1, while Vancouver follows in third place with a score of 107.7. In contrast, Baghdad is the lowest ranking city in the survey, scoring just 14.5.
The analysis is part of an annual World-wide Quality of Living Survey, covering more than 350 cities, to help governments and multinational companies place employees on international assignments. Each city is based on an evaluation of 39 criteria, including political, social, economic and environmental factors, personal safety and health, education, transport, and other public services. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city, which has an index score of 100.
“When multinational companies set up expatriate assignments they have to provide attractive reward packages to compensate employees for any negative changes to their quality of living,” Yvonne Sonsino, Principal at Mercer, commented. “Moving abroad can be a big upheaval for expatriates and their families, so international assignments tend to carry large price tags, particularly if they are in cities with low living standards facing political unrest or terrorist threats.” She added: “Many companies use benchmark data to help them structure pay deals at the right level.”
J. Patrick Malone
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