Consulting group picks Vienna as world's top city
VIENNA—Vienna has the best living standard in the world -- and Baghdad the worst, according to a consulting group that annually ranks the globe's major cities.
Mercer also gave German and Swiss cities top rankings, putting four of them among the first five, and says European cities represent over half of the top 25 municipalities graded.
The Austrian capital regularly ranks high in such surveys.
Though it is rising, the crime rate in Vienna is still among the lowest in Europe. Public transportation and other services are excellent, and streets are clean.
Zurich, Switzerland, was ranked second, followed by Auckland, New Zealand, and the German cities of Munich and Duesseldorf.
"European cities in general continue to have high standards of living, because they enjoy advanced and modern city infrastructures combined with high-class medical, recreational and leisure facilities," said Mercer senior researcher Slagin Parakatil.
But he cautioned that could change as the continent grapples with its financial crisis.
"Economic turmoil, high levels of unemployment and lack of confidence in political institutions make their future positions hard to predict," the company's website quoted him as saying.