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Swiss cities rate high in quality of life

Zurich, Bern and Geneva all made it into the top ten of a worldwide ranking of cities with the best quality of life.

Vienna was first, followed by Zurich and then Auckland in a 2011 ranking by human resource consultancy firm Mercer. Geneva and Bern figured at eighth and ninth respectively.

In a new ranking of personal safety, Luxembourg was found to be the most safe, with Bern, Helsinki and Zurich in a three-way tie for second place.

European cities made  up half of the top 25 cities for quality of life although Paris only ranked at 30 and London at 38. The top city in North America was Vancouver. Honolulu was the highest ranked United States city at 29. Dubai (74) had the highest quality of living in the Middle East and Africa.

At the bottom of the ranking were cities marked by civil unrest, crime and poor law enforcement. Bagdad was rated the most difficult city.

In comparing quality of life Mercer surveyed 420 cities worldwide, using 39 factors including  health, schools, transport, housing, climate and crime.

The study decided to focus on personal safety in its 2011 rankings because of the social and political unrest present in many urban areas.

Mercer predicted that if economic and political instability remained a global factor, cities in parts of Asia-Pacific and western Europe, as well as in Canada, would benefit from their “relative stability and wealth of public services and recreational provisions, becoming more attractive destinations for expatriate employees”.

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