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Survey Ranks World's Best, Worst Places to Live

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  • Survey Ranks World's Best, Worst Places to Live

    Survey Ranks World's Best, Worst Places to Live
    Mon Mar 3, 4:10 PM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!

    By Jason Hopps

    LONDON (Reuters) - The Swiss city of Zurich edged out Vancouver, Canada, and the Austrian capital of Vienna to top a quality of life survey published on Monday, with impoverished, war-torn African cities dominating the bottom ranks.

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    Baghdad, the Iraqi capital where residents are preparing for a possible US-led war, placed 213th of the 215 cities studied.

    The study handed the crown to Zurich based on 39 criteria ranging from political, social and economic factors that also included the quality of health, education and transport services.

    Zurich, which is surrounded by picturesque scenery, also claimed top spot in last year's survey of cities, commissioned by Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

    Vancouver, nestled between mountains and ocean on Canada's Pacific coast, and historic Vienna ranked a joint second, followed by Geneva and Sydney, Australia.

    Auckland, Copenhagen, the German cities of Frankfurt and Munich and the Swiss capital, Berne, all tied for fifth spot.

    At the other end of the table, Congo's Brazzaville and Bangui in the Central African Republic were judged to have the worst quality of life.

    The top-rated city in the United States was San Francisco, which placed 20th, down from 18th last year.

    "The gap between cities at the top and bottom of the table is still large," said Slagin Parakatil, a senior researcher at Mercer.

    "Economic and political unrest in Africa and Latin America has pushed many cities down in the rankings this year," he said. "It will take time for many of those African cities to recover from such prolonged periods of political and economic turmoil and to re-establish stable, law-enforcing democracies."

    In the study, conducted between September and November 2002, New York City was given a base score of 100 for quality of life. It was ranked 44th on the list.

    By contrast, Zurich topped the poll with a score of 106.5 and Brazzaville finished at 215 and last with 28.5 points.

    Other notable cities included Amsterdam at the 10th spot, Tokyo at 26, London at 39, Los Angeles at 53 and Rome at 66th.

    Lower down the table, Athens finished at 79, Istanbul at 91, Rio De Janeiro at 108, Jerusalem at 126, New Delhi at 162 and Havana, Cuba, at 189.

    African cities occupied 17 of the bottom 20 spots.

    In a related survey, also by Mercer, Luxembourg scored the highest for personal safety, followed closely by Berne, Geneva, Helsinki, Singapore and Zurich.

    Milan, Athens and Rome were judged the least safe cities in Western Europe while Washington got the worst safety ranking in the United States.

  • #2
    Great website for identifying places to live. Accessibility, etc.