Cities in Greater China are lagging behind their Asian counterparts according to the latest quality of life survey released by consulting firm Mercer.
Hong Kong was the best performing Chinese city in Mercer’s Quality of Living city rankings, finishing in 70th place. It was followed by Taipei (83), Taichung (99), Shanghai (101) Beijing (118), with Xian and Chongqing tied at 142. “Their main challenges to improving quality-of-living standards are clean water provision and air pollution,” the survey said.
Asian rivals Singapore and Tokyo fared much better, ranking 26th and 40th place respectively. European cities dominated the rankings, with Vienna (1), Zurich (2) and Munich (4) earning place in the top five alongside Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5).
Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey is an annual exercise to help multinational companies determine expatriate pay packages when posting staff overseas. Local living conditions in more than 440 cities are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories: including the political, economic and socio-cultural environments, health, education, public services, recreation and housing.
Despite the low rankings, China came out as the top destinations for expats in 2013 by a HSBC survey. While we’re talking about surveys, perhaps we should mention that last year Shanghai was found to be the safest city in China, while Beijing was awarded the dubious accolade of being the 6th most unfriendly city in the world.
By Dominic Jackson
[Image via Wikipedia]