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Amsterdam ranked 13th in world for quality of living

Amsterdam ranked 13th in Mercer’s 2010 Quality of Living Survey, making it the one of the top-rated cities in the world.

Vienna has the world’s best quality of life and Baghdad the worst, with wildly popular but less organized cities like New York and London falling between, according to a survey Wednesday.

Mercer consultants’ city rankings for 2010 lists Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver and Auckland the top five urban living destinations.

Paris comes in only at 34, London at 39, Tokyo 40, Madrid 48 and New York at a lowly 49.

Amsterdam placed 13th in the international rankings for the second consecutive year. Only Vienna, Austria, Zurich, Switzerland and Geneva, Switzerland ranked higher in the survey that measures quality of life.

The survey, conducted by business analysts Mercer, does the survey to help employers compare countries so they can compensate workers fairly when placing them on international assignments. It ranks cities based on 39 criteria, including political and economic environment, health care, education, recreational activities, housing and natural environment.

The top U.S. cities were Honolulu at 31 and San Francisco at 32, Mercer said. London placed 39th and New York came in 49th. Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand, all placed in the top 20. Europe had 16 cities among the top 25. Athens ranked lowest for western Europe, at 75.

The Iraqi capital of Baghdad ranked at the bottom of the list.

Here are the top 25 cities according to Mercer’s 2010 Quality of Living Survey

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Geneva, Switzerland
4. Vancouver
4. Auckland, New Zealand
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
7. Frankfurt, Germany
7. Munich, Germany
9. Bern, Switzerland
10. Sydney, Australia
11. Copenhagen, Denmark
12. Wellington, New Zealand
13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
14. Ottawa
15. Brussels, Belgium
16. Toronto
17. Berlin, Germany
18. Melbourne, Australia
19. Luxembourg
20. Stockholm, Sweden
21. Perth, Australia
21. Montreal
23. Hamburg, Germany
24. Nurnburg, Germany
24. Oslo, Norway

A spokesman for the Amsterdam culture Alderman, Carolien Gehrels, said the city is satisfied with the thirteenth spot on the rankings. “Of course you want is actually the first place position, but this shows that Amsterdam is a nice place to live.”

Photo by Pear Biter