Copenhageners enjoying their quality of life on Dronning Louises Bro. Photo: Colourbox
Hot off the heels of being ranked the eighth priciest city in the world by The Economist, Copenhagen was chosen as the world’s ninth best city for expats in Mercer’s latest quality of life survey.
Vienna topped the Mercer list, which was dominated by European destinations. Behind the Austrian capital was the Swiss city of Zurich, while Munich, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt took fourth, sixth and seventh place respectively.
Copenhagen’s top-ten finish was music to the ears of Copenhagen Capacity, the capital area’s official organization for promoting investments and business development.
"Copenhagen has a lot to offer its international citizens. The recent Mercer ranking adds to the prestigious title as the World’s Most Liveable City awarded by Monocle Magazine in 2013 and 2014. Moreover, Denmark is the second best country in the world on developing, attracting and retaining talent for companies that operate here, according to the IMD World Talent Report 2014”, the organization’s CEO, Claus Lønborg, said in a press release.
The Danish capital scored significantly higher than its Nordic counterparts. Stockholm was number 19 on the list, while Helsinki was number 31 and Oslo number 32.
Mercer’s survey is aimed at large multi-national employers and other companies to help them determine how they should compensate employees when placing them on international assignments or longer term re-locations.
Every year, Mercer experts produce the index by looking at living conditions in more than 440 cities across the world.
The conditions are based on 39 factors, grouped into ten categories as follows: political and social environment, economic environment, socio-cultural environment, medical and health considerations, schools and education, public services and transportation, recreation, consumer goods, housing and natural environment.
A Mercer spokeswoman said that very little separated the top ten cities.
"If you look at the top-ranked cities closely, only minimal differences show – the quality of life is consistently very high," Christa Zihlmann told the Austrian Press Agency.
Critics of the Mercer rankings say that it only really applies to expatriates in managerial positions, whose high salaries enable them to enjoy all Copenhagen has to offer. Indeed, in addition to this week’s Economist ranking as the eighth priciest city in the world, a Mercer ranking from July that focused on costs ranked Copenhagen as the most expensive city in Northern Europe.
The Danish capital was ranked as the 15th most expensive city in the world for expatriates on that list, putting Copenhagen far above neighbouring cities like Berlin and Stockholm, which came in at numbers 68 and 38 respectively. Even Oslo, which has topped previous lists for the most expensive cities in the world, is cheaper for expats than Copenhagen according to Mercer’s ranking.