Istanbul continues to slide down Mercer Quality of Living Survey
Istanbul ranked 134th on the Mercer 20th Quality of Living Survey, down one place from last year’s ranking and 12 places down from the 2016 ranking.
The city, Turkey’s most populous city and main economic hub, was placed just behind Thai capital Bangkok and the Chinese city of Chengdu in the list.
Only Belgrade, Sarajevo, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tirana ranked below Istanbul in the European region.
Vienna keeps top spot
In this year’s rankings, Austria’s capital Vienna defended its position as the city offering the best quality of life in the world for the ninth year in a row, while Iraq’s capital Baghdad remained the worst.
“Vienna remains the highest ranking city in Europe and globally, providing resident and expatriates with high security, well-structured public transportation and a variety of cultural and recreation facilities,” said the press release issued on March 20.
Vienna is followed by Switzerland’s Zurich and then New Zealand’s Auckland and Germany’s Munich in joint third. Vancouver, ranked fifth, offers the best quality of living in North America.
Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Basel are the other five European cities that took places in the top 10.
Singapore at 25 and Montevideo at 77 topped the Asian and Latin American regions respectively. The best African entry on the list was South Africa’s Durban in 89th place.
Dubai, ranked 74th, continued to rank highest for quality of living across the Middle East, closely followed by Abu Dhabi, ranked 77th.
Eastern Europe on the rise
Over the past 20 years, living standards have increased most in a number of eastern European cities such as Sarajevo, now at 159, and Bratislava, now at 80, the report said.
“As a result of increased living standards, a competitive labor market and talent availability, many of these cities have started attracting multinational businesses setting up new operations,” said Martine Ferland from Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm.
Baghdad has been at the bottom of the list for a decade now. Waves of sectarian violence have swept through the city since the American-led invasion in 2003.
Yemen’s capital Sanaa, devastated by conflict, ranked two places above Baghdad, and Syria’s Damascus, seven years into a civil war, ranked six places above Iraq’s capital.