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These cities have the best quality of life, according to a new ranking

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If you want to live well, move to Zurich.

That’s according to a new ranking from Deutsche Bank DB, -1.58% that analyzes prices and living standards around the world to find the cities with the highest quality of life, as well as the most expensive cities to call home.

This year, Zurich topped the list, moving up one spot since 2018.

Coming in close behind were cities Wellington, New Zealand and Copenhagen, as well as Edinburgh, and Vienna.

Deutsche Bank doesn’t rank every metro in the world, but instead focuses on those that are “relevant to global financial markets,” the bank’s researchers explained.

Quality of life index Change vs. 2014 Change vs. 2018 Country City
1 +1 +1 Switzerland Zurich
2 +2 -1 New Zealand Wellington
3 +3 Denmark Copenhagen
4 New entry United Kingdom Edinburgh
5 +6 Austria Vienna
6 New entry Finland Helsinki
7 +2 Australia Melbourne
8 -5 +3 United States Boston
9 +7 +7 United States San Francisco
10 +2 -2 Australia Sydney

The quality of life ranking is the “most subjective” part of the report, the company wrote, because people have different criteria for what makes a city wonderful to live in.

For example, Deutsche Bank doesn’t focus on cultural, entertainment and social opportunities, for its scoring.

“Our study is not the definitive guide on the matter but a good starting point for debate,” the authors, who used a combination of crowdsourcing and surveying prices to create the report, wrote.

To determine the cities with the highest quality of life, Deutsche Bank scored candidates on their consumer purchasing power, regional crime and safety, overall quality of health-care availability, general cost of consumer goods, housing affordability (which is calculated as a property-price-to-income ratio), traffic congestion and commute times, overall pollution and regional climate likability.

Zurich scored especially high on purchasing power, safety and pollution indices.

Wellington was a standout in property-price-to-income ratio, traffic commute time and pollution, in the New Zealand capital.

And Copenhagen scored well for safety, health care, traffic commute time and pollution.

Meanwhile, Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, ranks second in monthly salaries for the cities Deutsche Bank featured, just behind San Francisco, which is helpful considering that Zurich also is considered one of the more expensive places to live.

In 2019, the average monthly salary after taxes for citizens of Zurich was $5,896, behind the $6,526 in San Francisco. (The survey calculated salaries “net of taxes,” or after taxes.)

Zurich also has expensive rent. It ranks fourth in monthly rent for a midrange two-bedroom apartment, at $2,538. That is just behind the world’s most expensive: Hong Kong ($3,685), San Francisco ($3,631), and New York City ($2,909).

Check out Deutsche Bank’s full report, which also includes relative pricing of goods and services around the world.

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