Mercer consulting firm just released its annual ranking of 231 world cities according to quality of life. Cities are judge according to political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing and natural environment.
The list is used by human resources departments to determine salary adjustments for professionals being moved from one city to another with the idea of maintaining their same quality of life. While this is the commercial purpose behind the creation of this ranking, it also serves for bragging rights between cities.
The good news for Santiago is that it comes out as one of the best cities of South America. Compared to other cities in the region, only Montevideo and Buenos Aires figured higher in the rankings. Cities such as Rio, Sao Paolo, Brasilia, Asuncion, Lima, Bogata, Guayaquil, Quito, La Paz, and Caracas all fared worse. Santiago finished even finished first in South America in the area of infrastructure.
The bad news is that this only places Santiago 95th at the global level. Montevideo reached 79th and Buenos Aires at 93rd just barely beat Santiago. Still this is much better than cities such as La Paz and Caracas, which at 157th and 189th place respectively, have the lowest quality of life in South America. In the case of La Paz, this can be attributed to their lowest score in the region for infrastructure whereas Caracas suffers from major problems of security.
At the global level, three of the Top 5 were Europeans cities with Vienna as #1 followed by Zurich at #2 and Munich at #4. Auckland, New Zealand finished at #3 and Vancouver took #5. Within the United States, the highest ranked city was San Francisco at #29. The Middle East and Africa cities earn a reputation for having the lowest quality of life in the world. The bottom five are Khartoum, Sudan at #227; Port Au Prince, Haiti at #228; Sanaa, Yemen at #229; Bangui, Central African Republic at #230; and Baghdad, Iraq at #231.