How we use Cookies

Birmingham voted a better place to live than Hong Kong or Dubai

City named above some of the more glamorous capitals in the world in survey measuring quality of life

Stunning views of the Birmingham skyline featuring the BT Tower
Stunning views of the Birmingham skyline featuring the BT Tower

The quality of life in Birmingham is better than Hong Kong, Miami or Dubai, according to a new report.

A study comparing life in hundreds of cities across the globe ranks Birmingham has the 53th best place to live, along with Rome.

London and Edinburgh are the only UK cities to be ranked higher, while global centres like Kuala Lumpur and Seoul are lower.

The study, by financial services firm Mercer, evaluated living conditions based on political, cultural and social environment, education, health, recreation and housing in 230 world cities.

Dubai has nothing on Birmingham, according to researchers

Birmingham comes ahead of fellow UK cities Glasgow (55), Aberdeen (59), and Belfast (64) on the list.

Vienna, in Austria, Zurich, in Switzerland and Auckland, New Zealand, make up the top three places to live according to Mercer experts.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Baghdad in Iraq is considered the least desirable city to live, followed by Bangui in Central Africa and Sana’a in Yemen.

Mercer also ranks cities in terms of personal safety, with Birmingham placed 54th.

The best view in Birmingham?

The research is important to attracting inward investment into the city, with businesses shifting operations to new cities often using Mercer data to make up their minds.

Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham said: “These rankings also play a crucial part in attracting new businesses to the city.

"We will be showcasing our quality of life credentials at this year’s MIPIM real estate exhibition and engaging with global investors and organisations looking to work with a city that can offer the best business environment they need to grow.”

Ellyn Karetnick, head of Mercer’s International Mobility Practice in the UK, said: “Quality of living standards remain high across UK and European cities, making them attractive destinations for multinational businesses and their employees.

“In Europe and beyond terrorist attacks and incidences of civil unrest are closely monitored and analysed, and any impact on quality of living for expatriates is reflected in the rankings.”

The Mercer Top Five

1) Vienna, Austria
2) Zurich, Switzerland
3) Auckland, New Zealand
4) Munich, Germany
5) Vancouver, Canada

The Bottom Five

226) Khartoum, Sudan
227) Port Au Prince, Haiti
228) Sana'a, Yemen
229) Bangui, Central African Republic
230) Baghdad, Iraq



Graeme Brown
Editor (Agenda and Business)
Enda Mullen
Business Reporter
Tamlyn Jones
Business Reporter
Neil Elkes
Local Government Correspondent
Emma McKinney
Education Correspondent
Ben Hurst
News Editor
Jonathan Walker
Political Editor