London ranked in top fifty cities for quality of living

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Only one British city was ranked in the top 50 for quality of living around the world, a survey revealed today.

London was placed at number 39 based on a range of factors including crime, political stability, hospital services, transport, food and drink, leisure, climate and personal freedom.

The UK capital was followed by Aberdeen in 53rd position, Birmingham at 55, Glasgow at 57 and Belfast at number 63.

Dublin in Ireland was meanwhile ranked 26 on the Mercer 2010 Quality of Living Survey.

The annual list covered 221 cities compared with 215 last year with Aberdeen and Belfast among the new entries.

Mercer carries out the study to help governments and companies compensate employees fairly when sending them on international assignments.

The rankings were based on a point-scoring index against New York as the base city, with a score of 100.

Vienna made it to the top spot for the second year in a row with a score of 108.6.

London achieved 101.6 - the same score as last year.

In bottom place was the Iraqi capital Baghdad which scored 14.7 due to its lack of security and stability, according to Mercer.

European cities dominated the top 25 cities in the index, with Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland in second and third place and the German cities of Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich in sixth and joint seventh place respectively.

London sat one place behind Lyon in France and was ranked ahead of Tokyo in Japan.

The 2010 survey also identified the cities with the best eco-ranking according to water availability and quality, waste removal, air pollution and traffic congestion.

This category contained three British cities in the top 50 - Aberdeen, which was ranked at 19, Belfast in 30th position and Glasgow at 47.

London was ranked 63rd, the survey found.

Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, said: "As the world economy becomes more globalised, cities beyond the traditional financial centres are emerging as attractive places in which to expand or establish a business.

"Cities in many emerging markets, such as in the Middle East or Asia, have seen a significant influx of foreign companies and their expatriate employees in recent years.

"To ensure their expatriates are compensated appropriately and an adequate hardship allowance is included in their benefits package, companies seek a clear picture of the quality of living in these cities.

"We have reviewed our index to reflect these developments and it now better represents the cities that most interest our clients."