The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Brussels ranks 21st among most liveable cities for expats

10:41 20/02/2014

Brussels has come in 21st place in the new report on most-liveable cities for expats, released by Mercer human resources and financial services. Mercer analysed 39 factors important for expatriates, like housing, health services, transport and education.

Mercer’s “Quality of living” reports are used by companies to determine allowances or compensations for expats who might experience significant deterioration in living conditions when transferred to work at a new location. “Political instability, high crime levels and elevated air pollution are a few factors that can be detrimental to the daily lives of expatriate employees, their families and local residents," said Mercer researcher Slagin Parakatil. "To ensure that compensation packages reflect the local environment appropriately, employers need a clear picture of the quality of living in the cities where they operate.”

Brussels moved up one spot in the study compared to 2013. Vienna topped Mercer’s rankings this year, followed by Zurich and Auckland, New Zealand.

European cities dominated the top rankings, with Munich (4), Düsseldorf (6) and Frankfurt (7) also in the top 10. “European cities enjoy a high overall quality of living compared to those in other regions," noted Parakatil. "Health care, infrastructure and recreational facilities are generally of a very high standard. Political stability and relatively low crime levels enable expatriates to feel safe and secure in most locations. The region has seen few changes in living standards over the last year.”

Closing out the bottom of this year's list was Baghdad (223); the lowest-ranking European city was Tbilisi (191).

Photo: Wikimedia commons

Written by Kelly Hendricks