Hey New York! We're Number … 49?

Print More

Start spreading the news: Auckland is one of 48 cities around the world (five of them in the United States) with a higher

Start spreading the news: Auckland is one of 48 cities around the world (five of them in the United States) with a higher “quality of life” than New York.

Photo by: Joerg Mueller

A worldwide ranking of cities for quality of life suggests that New York is not even the second best locale on the East Coast.

By: Jarrett Murphy

New York's ego has suffered a few bruises in recent years. Failing in its bid for the 2012 Olympics. Watching both its former mayor and junior U.S. senator strike out in the 2008 presidential race. Losing “Law & Order” to Los Angeles. Now, another blow: An international consulting firm says that when it comes to quality of life, Auckland has us beat by a comfortable margin.

Auckland, which is apparently in New Zealand, is one of 48 cities around the world that the consultant Mercer deems better than New York in its annual ranking of urban locales for “quality of life,” which it measures across a range of factors: “political stability, crime … currency exchange regulations, banking services … personal freedom … medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution … electricity, water, public transport, traffic congestion … restaurants, theaters, cinemas, sports and leisure … availability of food/daily consumption items, cars … housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services … climate and record of natural disasters.”

All of which New York has in spades, except for natural disasters. But other cities apparently have them more. Vienna ranks number one. Five American cities beat out the five boroughs: Honolulu (No. 31), San Francisco (No. 32), Boston (No. 37), Chicago and Washington (tied at 35) all rank higher than New York. Seattle comes in at 50. If it's any consolation, all cities are scored against New York, whose score is set at 100. Vienna posted a 108.6. Worldwide, Mercer says Baghdad (with a score of 14.7) is the worst major urban area to live.

In a separate drinking water system in the United States and a transit system that carries more riders than all but three cities worldwide, didn't place.

Mercer's rankings do carry this disclaimer: “The information and data obtained through the Quality of Living Reports are for information purposes only and are intended for use by multi-national organizations and government agencies that transfer employees from one country to another. They are not designed or intended to use as the basis for foreign investment or tourism.”

Here are the quality of living rankings:

1