The World's Best Places to Live 2009

BusinessWeek

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In Mercer Consultings annual Quality of Living Survey, Europe once again dominates the list of 215 countries around the world. The top three cities are, by rank, Vienna, Zurich (last years winner), and Geneva. Commonwealth nations fare pretty well, too, winning 9 of the top 30 spots -- even though London comes in only at 38. The U.S. also fares poorly, barely making it into the top 30 with Honolulu and San Francisco in the bottom two places. The top city in Asia is Singapore, at no. 26. No cities from Africa or South America are in the top 30. The bottom? Baghdad once again comes in at 215.

To find out which 30 global cities offer the best quality of life, read on.

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The World's Best Places to Live 2009

No. 1: Vienna, Austria

Mercer score: 108.6*
2008 rank: 2
GDP: $325 billion (2008 est.)**
Population: 1,664,146 (total city); 8,210,281 (total country)
Life expectancy: 79.5

*The rankings are based on a point scoring index established by Mercer Consultings 2009 Quality of Living Survey, with Vienna scoring 108.6 and Baghdad scoring 14.4. Cities are compared with New York as the base city, with an index score of 100. The quality-of-living survey covers 215 cities and is conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments. The survey also identifies those cities with the highest personal safety ranking based on internal stability, crime, effectiveness of law enforcement, and relationships with other countries.

**The World Factbook.Gross domestic product is denominated in international dollars, which is based on Purchasing Power Parity.

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No. 2: Zurich, Switzerland

Mercer score: 108
2008 rank: 1
GDP: 309.9 billion (2008 est.)
Population: 1,307,567 (total city); 7,604,467 (total country)
Life expectancy: 80.85

No. 3: Geneva, Switzerland

Mercer score: 107.9
2008 rank: 2
GDP: $309.9 billion (2008 est.)
Population: 438,177 (total city); 7,604,467 (total country)
Life expectancy: 80.85

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No. 4 (tie): Vancouver, Canada

Mercer score: 107.4
2008 rank: 4
GDP: $1.3 trillion (2008 est.)
Population: 2,285,900 (total city); 33,487,208 (total country)
Life expectancy: 81.2

No. 4 (tie): Auckland, New Zealand

Mercer score: 107.4
2008 rank: 5
GDP: $116.6 billion (2008 est.)
Population: 1,303,068 (total city); 4,213,418 (total country)
Life expectancy: 80.3

No. 6: Dusseldorf, Germany

Mercer score: 107.2
2008 rank: 6
GDP: $2.86 trillion (2008 est.)
Population: 581,858 (total city); 82,329,758 (total country)
Life expectancy: 79.2

No. 7: Munich, Germany

Mercer score: 107
2008 rank: 7
GDP: $2.86 trillion (2008 est.)
Population: 1,300,000 (total city); 82,329,758 (total country)
Life expectancy: 79.2

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No. 8: Frankfurt, Germany

Mercer score: 106.8
2008 rank: 7
GDP: $2.86 trillion (2008 est.)
Population: 662,000 (total city); 82,329,758 (total country)
Life expectancy: 79.2

No. 9: Bern, Switzerland

Mercer score: 106.5
2008 rank: 9
GDP: $309.9 billion (2008 est.)
Population: 962,983 (total city); 7,604,467 (total country)
Life expectancy: 80.85

No. 10: Sydney, Australia

Mercer score: 106.3
2008 rank: 10
GDP: $800.5 billion (2008 est.)
Population: 4,336,374 (total city); 21,262,641 (total country)
Life expectancy: 81.6

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