The 26 major cities with the highest quality of life in the world

Will Martin
Sunday 16 September 2018 09:25 BST
The 10 most liveable cities 2018

This week Deutsche Bank released its annual "Mapping the world's prices" report, cataloguing the cost of goods and services in a cross section of the world's biggest and most powerful cities around the world.

In 2017, for the first time, Deutsche Bank has included a ranking of the quality of life in 47 cities around the world. The ranking is based on eight sub-indexes compiled by crowd-sourced information database Numbeo, which create a broad picture of what it is like to live in different cities.

The indexes are: Purchasing Power, Safety, Health Care, Cost of Living, Property Price to Income Ratio, Traffic Commute Time, Pollution, and Climate.

Broadly speaking, the cities that rank highly are in the northern hemisphere in developed western economies, although several cities from nations like South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand make the list, with one even at the very top.

Check it out below:

26. Oslo, Norway — Norway's capital makes this list thanks to strong scores in the pollution category, where it was 10th overall, and purchasing power, where it was 15th.


25. Johannesburg, South Africa — Finishing top of the property price to income ratio ranking helped push the South African city to a relatively high position on DB's list.


Inner-city Johannesburg, South Africa (AFP/Getty Images)

24. Brussels, Belgium — Belgian capital and seat of the European Union, Brussels was fifth best for health care, and seventh overall for both property price/income ratio and traffic commute time.


23. Warsaw, Poland — Breaking the top 10 in two categories — eighth in safety, sixth in cost of living — helped Warsaw to a high position in the overall quality of life ranking.


22. Chicago, USA — Often overlooked for coastal powerhouses like New York and Los Angeles, Chicago has the third best quality of life of any US city, according to Deutsche Bank's ranking. It scored particularly high in property price to income ratio, finishing second.


21. Dublin, Ireland — Dublin failed to excel in any single category, but scored well across the board, with its highest individual ranking being 10th in property price to income ratio.


(Flickr/Dyn Photo)


20. Stockholm, Sweden — Nordic cities are renowned for their quality of life and Stockholm is no exception. The city is incredibly clean, finishing fifth in the pollution index.


19. Prague, Czech Republic — Another European capital city to feature, Prague's position in the overall ranking is boosted by a ninth place finish in the cost of living index. It was also 11th in the safety index.


18. San Francisco, USA — The hub for the global tech industry, San Francisco is incredibly expensive to live in, but quality of life is high. The city finished top of the climate index.


17. Cape Town, South Africa — Another major city in South Africa to feature, Cape Town has the best quality of life in Africa, thanks to top five scores in both climate and property prices.


Cape Town, South Africa (Getty)

15. Lisbon, Portugal — Madrid's neighbour on the Iberian peninsula, Lisbon affords residents a very handy commute, with the city finishing ninth in the traffic commute time index. Climate is another big bonus, with Portugal's capital finishing third in that ranking.


14. Toronto, Canada — While Toronto is not Canada's capital, it is the country's most recognisable city, and scored highly across the board. Its top individual rank was in the purchasing power index, where it was eighth.


13. Auckland, New Zealand — Despite a population of less than 5 million, New Zealand has two cities in the top 15 most liveable cities in the world. Auckland makes the cut thanks to four index rankings between 11th and 17th.


T11. Berlin, Germany — Germany's capital just misses out on having a top 10 quality of life, despite top 10 places in the healthcare, purchasing power, and traffic indexes.


T11. Helsinki, Finland — Just as liveable as Berlin, Helsinki's high score comes courtesy of four index rankings of 11th or better.


10. Sydney, Australia — With all year round sunshine, Sydney is one of the world's most attractive cities, although it is not the most appealing in Australia. The city's top 10 overall score was helped by four sub-index scores between 11th and 15th.


9. Amsterdam, Netherlands — As a city renowned for the number of cyclists in its streets, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Dutch capital was the fourth best city for commute time.


8. Boston, USA — Deutsche Bank ranks Boston as the US city with the highest quality of life in 2017, with citizens in the Massachusetts city enjoying the world's second best purchasing power.


7. Ottawa, Canada — Canada's capital also has its best quality of life, finishing fourth overall in purchasing power, property price to income ratio, and pollution.


6. Copenhagen, Denmark — Copenhagen often features near the top of quality of life rankings, and Deutsche Bank's is no different. It is the fifth safest city on the list, and the eight least polluted.


5. Zurich, Switzerland — Switzerland is often held up as something of a utopia, and Zurich's rank on this list helps to confirm that reputation. Zurich was top of the purchasing power index, and second in both safety and pollution indexes.


(ETH Zürich/Marco Carocari)

4. Melbourne, Australia — Australia's second largest city has its best quality of life, according to Deutsche Bank. Melbourne has the third highest purchasing power of any city on the list, as well as top ten scores in healthcare, property price to income ratio, and climate.


3. Vienna, Austria — The honour of highest ranked city in a non-English speaking country goes to Austria's capital, thanks to the best healthcare of any city on the list, as well as being the sixth safest.


A traditional Fiaker horse carriage passes the imperial Schoenbrunn palace in Vienna, Austria (Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters)

2. Edinburgh, UK — Capital of Scotland, Edinburgh might not be anywhere near as big or powerful as London, but it is much more liveable. With the best traffic commute time of any city, the second best health care ranking, and the third best pollution score it is easy to see why it ranks so high overall.


1. Wellington, New Zealand — Officially the city with the world's highest quality of life, according to Deutsche Bank, New Zealand's capital has the least pollution of any city ranked, and finished in the top ten in four other categories.


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