22. Brussels, Belgium
23. Montreal, Canada
24. Nuremberg, Germany
25. Singapore, Singapore
26. Canberra, Australia
27. Stuttgart, Germany
28. Honolulu, U.S.
29. Adelaide, Australia
29. (tie) Paris, France
29. (tie) San Francisco, U.S.
Mercer's survey results are based on an analysis of local living conditions comprising 39 factors in 10 categories. Political considerations include government stability and crime rates. Economic factors take into account banking services and currency exchange laws. Health considerations include access to medical care and pollution levels. Transport, housing and recreation are also taken into account.
City scores help multinational companies calculate compensation packages for the employees they dispatch overseas. A lower score often correlates into a better compensation package that includes hardship allowances, according to Mercer.
Countries with unstable governments or undergoing civil strife tend usually have lower scores. Eight African cities dominate the bottom 10 in this year's survey.
"The ongoing turmoil in many countries across North Africa and the Middle East has led to serous security issues for locals and expatriates," says Mercer's Parakatil. "Companies need to be able to proactively implement mitigation plans, such as emergency repatriation, or adjust expatriate compensation packages accordingly."
Around the word and on a regional basis, the cities that score the lowest are the following:
64. Belfast, Northern Ireland (Western Europe)
71. Detroit, Michigan, (United States)
207. Dushanbe, Tajikistan (Asia-Pacific)
213. Tbilisi, Georgia (Eastern Europe)
219. Port-au-Prince, Haiti (North Americas)
This year's city with the worst quality of life?
Baghdad, Iraq at #221.