Every year Mercer, one of the world’s biggest HR consultancy firms conducts a Quality of Living Index, which looks at the countries and cities across the world and ranks them according to the quality of life they offer their residents. For seven years in a row, Vienna, Austria has topped the rankings as the number one city when it comes to quality of life and received the award again in 2017 – making it eight consecutive wins in what was Mercer’s 19th Quality of Living Ranking.
Expat compensation is based on quality of life
Mercer’s ranking is used by multinational companies to compensate expats when placing them on international assignments. For multinationals and governments it is essential to have ‘quality of living’ information that is accurate and detailed to compensate their employees appropriately and provide insights into the environment in which they are placing their workforce. The survey looks at over 450 cities across the world and judges the best quality of life based on:
- Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement)
- Economic environment (currency-exchange regulations, banking services)
- Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
- Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution)
- Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools)
- Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion)
- Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure)
- Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars)
- Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
- Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)
Vienna beat off strong competition
Vienna beat off strong competition including Zurich in second place and New Zealand’s Auckland in third place. Vienna not only offer a great transport system and affordable rentals, it also features breath taking architecture, fine art, opera houses and a café culture that is renowned across the world.
Vienna’s location in the heart of Europe ensures it is a regular host city for international conferences relating to all aspects of life and expats moving to Vienna have an abundance of cultural events to choose from including music, theatre and opera – with the works by popular Austrians such as Mozart and Strauss regularly being performed.
A high standard of education and healthcare
The standard of education is also excellent with the capital offering several good international schools, which specialise in foreign curricula. As an added bonus the Viennese speak English very well so language is not a barrier – although expats who master it will increase their career options.
Vienna also has one of the best healthcare systems in Europe. All expats living and working in the country will be entitled to public healthcare as a result of contributions made through their taxes. Free treatment is provided on all basic healthcare, which includes treatment in public hospitals, medication, basic dental care, and some consultations at specialists. As a result, Vienna is one of the few cities in the world where the majority of people do not invest in private health insurance.
If you are thinking of immigrating to Vienna and need any advice about your financial migration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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