KL, JB among top cities in Asia for living quality

KL, JB among top cities in Asia for living quality

"Companies looking to expand overseas have a host of considerations when identifying where best to locate staff and new offices", Bonic continued.

Mercer's annual index ranks 231 cities around the world on factors including political stability, crime, personal freedoms, healthcare, education, housing, recreation and public transport.

Ahead of KL is Singapore, the highest in South-East Asia and the Asian region, followed by five Japanese cities (Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya), and then Hong Kong and Seoul.

A view of the Kuala Lumpur city skyline in Malaysia.

Overall, Mercer evaluates local living conditions in more than 450 cities worldwide. The following are the 10 cities scoring at the bottom of the ranking.

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Western European cities also dominated the safest cities rankings. The capital of Austria, Vienna, ranked for the tenth consecutive year as the best in the world. Luxembourg was named as the safest city in the world, followed by Helsinki in Finland and the Swiss cities of Basel, Bern and Zurich.

As for European cities, they occupy 13 of the top 20 spots in this year's ranking. "Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa all rank a little bit lower because of the winter or harsh climate, which isn't quite as temperate as Vancouver", said Gordon Frost, a partner with Mercer. San Fransisco was the top-ranked USA city at 34th.

All U.S. cities fell in the ranking with the exception of NY as crime rates fell in the city. Detroit remains the United States city with the lowest quality of living this year, with the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince (228) the lowest in all the Americas.

In South America, Montevideo (78) is ranked highest, while continued political turmoil kicked Caracas (202) down nine spots. Seoul jumped two places from 2017 after their political stability returned when their president was arrested past year.

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