Mercer Quality of Life Rankings Photo: ecstaticist/Flickr

Vancouver has been deemed the city with the best quality of life in all of North America and fifth in the world.

The honour comes from the annual Mercer Quality of Life survey which ranks 223 cities around the world based on 39 factors considered important for expatriates. The study is intended to help multinational companies compensate employees fairly when sending them on international assignments.

The city with the highest quality of life, according to Mercer, is Vienna, Austria. The rest of the best:

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Auckland, New Zealand
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vancouver, Canada

Shifting focus to North America, Canada dominates in quality of life, taking the top four spots:

  1. Vancouver, BC (5th globally)
  2. Ottawa, ON (14th globally)
  3. Toronto, ON (15th globally)
  4. Montreal, QUE (23th globally)
  5. San Francisco, CA (27th globally)

“On the whole, North American cities offer a high quality of living and are attractive working destinations for companies and their expatriates,” the report states plainly.

For Vancouver, the positive positioning on the Mercer ranking comes less than a month after the city found itself at number two on Demographia’s list of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world.

The 39 factors that the Mercer Quality of Life survey considers are broken into 10 categories — one of which is indeed housing:

  • Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services)
  • Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
  • Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
  • Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools)
  • Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc)
  • Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
  • Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
  • Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
  • Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

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