Scottish cities beat world heavyweights in quality of life poll

Glasgow was ranked 55 - one up on last year
Glasgow was ranked 55 - one up on last year
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TWO Scottish cities have pipped destinations such as Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Dubai in a study of places in the world ­offering the best quality of life.

Glasgow and Aberdeen made the top 60 of the influential list compiled by consulting firm Mercer, which scores cities on factors including the local economy, housing, education, and public services.

London and Birmingham emerged as the highest-ranking UK cities in the company’s 
annual Quality of Living rankings, although no British locations made it into the top 30.

The Austrian capital, Vienna, retained its place at number one in the study, followed by Zurich, Auckland, Munich, and Vancouver, all of which made the top five in 2011.

Globally, Baghdad was ranked in bottom place at 221, propping up Bangui in the Central African Republic, and Port-Au-Prince, in Haiti, which came second and third lowest respectively.

Glasgow came in at number 55 in the list, one spot better than its showing 12 months ago, although Aberdeen – in 56th 
position – fell two places. Birmingham came 52nd, the same as last year.

At 38, the same position it occupied in 2011, London was the highest-ranked city in the UK. It reached sixth place in another study for the quality of its infrastructure, based on electricity supply, water availability, communication services and public transport.

Glasgow came 44th in the infrastructure study, while Aberdeen came 69th.

Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, said: “London’s high ranking in the infrastructure index reflects a combination of a high level of public services offered, with its extensive public transportation system including airports, the London Underground, buses and rail services.”

The firm emphasised that it judged the quality of life on companies looking to post ex-pats overseas, and said notable exceptions from the list, such as Edinburgh and Manchester, were due to the fact firms were not looking to relocate staff to those places in significant numbers.

Spokesman Alistair Peck said: “It’s not a reflection of the fact that Edinburgh has a bad quality of life. Companies will ask us to look at city X or city U because they’re going to post staff there.

“If you look at Aberdeen, it’s on there because of the oil industry. We have a lot of clients moving there and putting staff there.”

The lowest-ranking western European cities were Athens at 83 and Belfast at 64.

1 Vienna, Austria

2 Zurich, Switzerland

3 Auckland, New Zealand

4 Munich, Germany

5 Vancouver, Canada

6 Dusseldorf, Germany

7 Frankfurt, Germany

8 Geneva, Switzerland

9 Copenhagen, Denmark

10 Bern, Switzerland

55 Glasgow, Scotland

56 Aberdeen, Scotland