Canadian cities score high in quality of life

Vancouver tied for third in the world in annual survey

Canada’s major cities scored high in a worldwide quality of life survey, with Vancouver coming in as the world’s third most livable city.

The survey, done by Mercer HR Consulting, looked at 39 criteria, ranking cities on things such as housing, political and social environment, medical and health considerations and recreation.

Vancouver tops in North America

Vancouver was the highest scoring Canadian city, and the best in North America, finishing third overall behind Geneva and Zurich.

Other Canadian cities ranked as follows:

•Toronto (14);
•Ottawa (20);
•Montreal (22); and
•Calgary (25).

At the bottom end of the scale was Baghdad, ranking last in the quality of life survey. (see below for a list of the ranking of the top cities for overall quality of life.)

Safety and security

This year’s study took a close look at how cities rank for personal safety and security. In that category, Luxembourg ranked as the world’s top city, followed by Helsinki, Bern, Geneva and Zurich.

Scores for personal safety and security are based on relationships with other countries, internal stability and crime, including terrorism. Law enforcement, censorship and limitations on personal freedom are also taken into account.

Canadian cities scored well in safety and security, with Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary finishing in the top 20 — all tied for 18th place, actually.

“The top ranking cities for personal safety and security are in politically stable countries with good international relations and sustainable economic growth,” said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer. “Most of the low-scoring cities are in countries with civil unrest, little law enforcement and high levels of crime.”

The world’s least secure city was also Baghdad. Other low ranking cities include Abidjan in the Ivory Coast; Bangul in Central African Republic; and Port Harcourt and Laos in Nigeria.

Overall quality of living — ranking

1. Geneva
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Vancouver
3. Vienna, Austria
5. Frankfurt, Germany
5. Munich, Germany
5. Dusseldorf, Germany
8. Auckland, New Zealand
8. Bern, Switzerland
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
8. Sydney, Australia
12. Amsterdam, Netherlands
13. Brussels, Belgium
14. Melbourne, Australia
14. Berlin
14. Luxembourg
14. Stockholm, Sweden
14. Toronto
14. Wellington, New Zealand
20. Ottawa
20. Perth, Australia
22. Nurnberg, Germany
22. Dublin, Ireland
22. Montreal
25. Adelaide, Australia
25. Calgary
25. Hamburg, Germany
25. Helsinki, Finland
25. Honolulu
25. San Francisco
31. Brisbane, Australia
31. Oslo, Norway
31. Paris
34. Singapore
34. Tokyo
36. Lyon, France
36. Yokohama, Japan
36. Boston
39. London
39. Kobe, Japan
39. New York City
42. Madrid, Spain
42. Portland, United States
42. Barcelona, Spain
42. Washington
46. Winston-Salem, United States
46. Lexington, United States
46. Osaka, Japan
46. Pittsburgh
46. Seattle
51. Chicago
51. Milan, Italy
53. Lisbon, Portugal
53. Nagoya, Japan
53. Tsukuba, Japan

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