Each year, Mercer releases the results of its Quality of Living Survey, naming the world's best cities to live in.
Though Europe may be in the midst of an economic crisis, it still tops the list in the global human resource consulting firm's 2011 survey.
Mercer conducts the annual survey to help corporate clients determine whether they need to provide hardship pay for employees that are stationed in some of the world's worst cities. In the process of finding the worst places in the world to live, it also singles out the best.
The results are compiled using a variety of factors like personal safety, public services, schools, recreation, housing, climate, and political stability.
This year, European cities dominated the list with cities in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada also raking high. 2011 also marks the first time an Asian city broke the top 25 with Singapore in the 25th spot.
The biggest winners were Vienna at No. 1 in the Quality of Living ranking and Luxembourg at the top of the Personal Safety ranking.
With its ornate buildings, public parks, extensive bicycle network, and cheap public transportation, Vienna regularly tops global quality of life surveys. The Austrian capital, home to 1.7 million, also had a high personal safety ranking.
The biggest loser was Baghdad with the lowest quality of living among the 221 cities ranked. Unsurprisingly, it was also last in the Personal Safety ranking.
Cities in Austria, Switzerland and Germany dominated the top of the list, accounting for seven of the top 10 cities. More than half of the top 25 cities are in Europe.
While Canada fared well for quality of life, no city in the United States broke the top 25. The highest-ranked U.S. city was Honolulu at 29. San Francisco followed closely behind at 30. Boston was next at 36.
No U.S. city made the top 50 list for personal safety.
For the cities on the worst list for quality of life, the biggest issue was safety. The events of the Arab Spring of 2011, when citizens took to the streets to demand regime change in many North African and Middle Eastern countries, led many cities to take a tumble in rankings this year.
Even some generally calm regions fell in ranking due to civil disorder. Large, sometimes violent protests in Santiago, Chile, mass killings in and around Oslo, Norway, and an economic collapse and the resulting austerity measures in Athens, Greece forced the three cities to drop in rankings.
These substantial challenges to the security of expatriates and local residents in many locations led Mercer to choose personal safety as the special topic of its 2011 rankings.
Top 10 Cities Worldwide for Quality of Living:
1 - Vienna, Austria
2 - Zurich, Switzerland
3 - Auckland, New Zealand
4 - Munich, Germany
5 - Vancouver, Canada (tied)
5 - Düsseldorf, Germany (tied)
7 - Frankfurt, Germany
8 - Geneva, Switzerland
9 - Bern, Switzerland (tied)
9 - Copenhagen, Denmark (tied)
Top 5 Cities Worldwide for Personal Safety:
1 - Luxembourg
2 - Bern, Switzerland (tied)
2 - Helsinki, Finland (tied)
2 - Zurich Switzerland (tied)
5 - Vienna, Austria
The 10 Worst Cities Worldwide:
1 - Baghdad, Iraq
2 - Bangui, Central African Republic
3 - N'Djamena, Chad
4 - Port-au-Prince, Haiti
5 - Khartoum, Sudan
6 - Sana'a, Yemen
7 - Tbilisi, Georgia
8 - Brazzaville, Congo
9 - Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
10 - Nouakchott, Mauritania