• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Vienna is top city for overall quality of life
View over Vienna.

Vienna is top city for overall quality of life

The Local · 23 Feb 2016, 10:32

Published: 23 Feb 2016 10:32 GMT+01:00

Zurich in Switzerland came second, and Auckland in New Zealand placed third. German-speaking cities dominated the rankings, with Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt all in the top seven.

The study examined social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment, and is used by big companies to assess where they should locate and how much they should pay expatriate workers.

Vienna’s government - currently a coalition of the social democrats and Greens - has a tradition of investing in high-quality social housing, making Vienna one of the most affordable European capitals to live in.

Eugene Quinn, who moved to Vienna from London, is a founding member of culture group space and place and runs a walking tour which explores why Vienna is the best city in the world to live in.

"Vienna is unusual because poor people live well here," he told The Local. "It has a slightly old-fashioned approach to still paying higher taxes, with the benefits of those taxes much more visible than elsewhere. It is a city of beauty, space and opportunity. And the people are great looking! It may never be cool... but cool is overrated."

However, he says life in Vienna does have some drawbacks. "It remains too bureaucratic, not so transparent, and has an ugly right-wing party leading in the polls. Plus smoking is - astonishingly - still cool and still allowed in bars."

The city has a low crime rate and an efficient and cheap public transport system. An annual travel card costs just €365 and the underground train network runs for 24 hours on weekends.

Austrian journalist and writer Klaus Hübner has lived in Vienna for the past 20 years and says that for him "quality of life starts with the quality of the drinking water" - which is excellent in Vienna. He adds that public services in Vienna are also outstanding thanks to a long-reigning socialist government - "the city is safe, clean, and runs smoothly on excellent public transport." 

Vienna’s geographic location - close to Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic - has helped it define itself as a hub for companies wanting to do business in central and eastern Europe.

“Vienna has ranked top in the last seven published rankings,” said Mercer. “It scores highly in a number of categories; it provides a safe and stable environment to live in, a high level of public utilities and transport facilities, and good recreational facilities.”

Story continues below…

The refugee crisis, which has seen large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers pass through Vienna on their way to Germany, appears not to have had an impact on quality of life in the city, according to Mercer.

Last year 90,000 refugees claimed asylum in Austria, but recently the government has moved to introduce tougher border controls and a daily cap on asylum seekers which has seen the numbers drastically reduced. 

The Mercer ranking helps boost Vienna’s image abroad, with the tourist board saying on Monday that tourism figures continue to grow, with visitor numbers from the USA, Spain and Britain showing particularly strong growth.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Dominatrix in court after deadly sex game claims a life
Image: Mulher Gotica 2/Wikimedia

A prostitute is on trial accused of causing intentional serious bodily harm resulting in death, after a 45-year-old client of hers was found hanging in a hotel room.

Suspicious wife travelled to Graz with husband's entrails
The customs officers weren't expecting to find entrails. Photo: Europol

Customs officers at an Austrian airport were taken aback to find human entrails in the bag of a Moroccan traveller, who said they belonged to her dead husband.

Merkel wants to send back dud migrants
Photo: FNDE/Wikimedia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, under fire at home over her refugees policy, called Saturday for Europe to secure deals with third countries to send back migrants who do not qualify for asylum.

Police officer run over by prisoner on day release
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A police officer in Vienna is in a critical condition after being knocked down by a prisoner on day release who was riding a Yamaha motorbike at full speed.

Jealousy drives man to blow up ex-girlfriend with hand grenade
Prnjavor in northern Bosnia. Photo: Cuman/Wikipedia

A Bosnian man living in Austria travelled back to his homeland to blow up his ex-girlfriend with a hand grenade when he found out she was seeing somebody else.

Teenager dies in horror crash on Austria's Westautobahn
File photo: Jacktd/Wikimedia

One person has died and seven others are seriously injured after a horrific road accident on the Westautobahn (A1) in Lower Austria.

Taiwanese tourist rescued from Austrian mountain via WhatsApp
Dachstein. Photo: Wikipedia

A tourist from Taiwan who got lost on Austria’s Dachstein mountain was rescued after sending a friend in Hong Kong images via WhatsApp.

Man jailed for making hundreds of sex calls to teachers
Wels court. Photo: Austrian Justice Ministry

A 59-year-old man from Upper Austria has received a 15-month conditional prison sentence after he phoned hundreds of young female teachers and sexually harassed them.

Comedian sets sights on Austrian parliament
Roland Düringer. Photo: ORF

An Austrian comedian, Roland Düringer, has founded a new political party and says he plans to introduce it in time for Austria’s next parliamentary election.

Austrian election set for early December after 'gluegate'
Austrian parliament building. Photo: Wikimedia

Austria's parliament has approved December 4th as the new date for the presidential election re-run in a scandal-ridden race.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Those surprising Austrians!
National
100 years since the last emperor's death
National
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Lifestyle
Have fun in September!
National
Der you learn Deutsch?
Culture
Delighted by the light
National
Beware these passport scams
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
2,484
jobs available