Quality of life is a pretty difficult thing to define and measure because it’s subjective and multi-dimensional. It reflects the overall life satisfaction of an individual or a group based on factors such as physical health, education, purchasing power, employment, safety, cost of living, pollution, healthcare facilities, social belonging, recreation and leisure time. Here we take a look at the world’s top 10 cities that offer the best quality of life.
Ranked: Cities with the best quality of life
Deutsche Bank Research has released its annual Mapping the World’s Prices report for 2019. The report measures the quality of life in 56 global cities based on various factors such as the cost of living, safety, housing affordability, pollution, and others. The list is dominated by European, Australian, and American cities.
The report shows that large cities such as New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo lag behind their smaller counterparts when it comes to the quality of life. These cities have the best quality of life.
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10- Sydney, Australia
The financial capital of Australia is one of the wealthiest cities on the planet with a total household wealth of $1 trillion. It attracts high net worth individuals (HNWIs) from around the world because of its high quality of life. Sydney was ranked 6th in terms of purchasing power and eighth on the climate index.
9- San Francisco, USA
The San Francisco Bay area is a global technology hub. Thanks to the rapid digitization around the world and the growth in the US tech sector, average salaries in San Francisco have shot up 88% in the last five years. According to Deutsche Bank Research, the average earnings in San Francisco are 42% more than the average salary per month in New York. San Francisco ranks 1st in terms of purchasing power, seventh in climate, and 10th in property price to income ratio.
8- Boston, USA
Boston is one of many cities in the US that have seen a steep rise in average salaries in the last few years, thanks to a stronger US economy. It ranked 7th on purchasing power index, 8th on the healthcare index, and 9th on pollution index. Boston is home to MIT, Harvard, and other prestigious educational institutions. It also has a booming startup ecosystem.
7- Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne ranks higher than Sydney in terms of quality of life. It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Melbourne ranked 5th on Deutsche Bank Research’s purchasing power index, 10th on climate index, and 11th on the healthcare index.
6- Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki is the least polluted city on this list. It also ranks highly in purchasing power, traffic commute time, and safety. Helsinki has one of the world’s best healthcare facilities. The city also has a robust startup ecosystem consisting of a large number of innovation hubs, investors, and accelerators.
5- Vienna, Austria
Vienna has all the reason to rank among cities with the best quality of life. Its picturesque gardens, musical heritage, and castles make it a popular tourist destination. According to Deutsche Bank Research, Vienna has almost negligible pollution and people don’t often get stuck in traffic while commuting. It ranks 6th in safety and 4th in healthcare.
4- Edinburgh, UK
Edinburgh is a new entry in the list. It has performed better than London (ranked 41st) in almost every aspect. Edinburgh enjoys high average salaries, world-class healthcare facilities, low commute time, and low pollution. It’s the 6th safest city in the world.
3- Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen has a high cost of living due to the relatively high costs of transportation, recreation, and personal care. But the city also offers a high quality of life, advanced healthcare facilities, and an excellent education system. Copenhagen ranks 7th in terms of both safety and healthcare.
2- Wellington, New Zealand
The capital of New Zealand has a population of 420,000. Except for the cost of living, which is extremely high, Wellington ranks near the top on almost every parameter. It ranks 2nd on the pollution index and traffic commute time index, 6th on climate index, 5th in terms of property price to income ratio, and 9th on the purchasing power index.
1- Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich is the city with the best quality of life, but it’s ridiculously expensive to live there. Zurich is home to FIFA headquarters, Credit Suisse, and UBS. Though it’s the most expensive city on the list, the average salaries in Zurich are lower than in San Francisco.