PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur has been ranked the second best city in South-East Asia in Mercer's 2017 Quality of Living rankings, with Johor Baru in third place.
The annual survey by consulting firm Mercer, used by multinational companies to design expatriate packages, ranked Kuala Lumpur as second for the city with the best quality of life in South-East Asia, with a global ranking of 86 out of 231 cities surveyed.
In terms of Asian cities, Kuala Lumpur is ranked at No. 10, while Johor Baru, which is 103rd globally, is ranked at No. 14.
The Quality of Living survey looked at 10 categories including political and social environment, economic environment, natural environment, housing, health services, and education.
According to Mercer's 19th annual Quality of Living survey, Singapore is the best Southeast Asian city in terms of quality of living and has a global rank of 25.
Other key South-East Asian cities in the Quality of Living survey include Bangkok, which ranked fourth in the region and 131 globally, Manila (ranked fifth in South-East Asia and 135 globally, and Jakarta in sixth place, with a global rank of 143.
Other notable cities in Asia include Hong Kong (ranked 71 globally), Seoul (76), Taipei (85), Shanghai (102) and Beijing (119).
Five Japanese cities, meanwhile, top the ranking for East Asia. These are Tokyo (ranked 47 globally), Kobe (50), Yokohama (51), Osaka (60), and Nagoya (63).
Despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, many of its cities offer the world's highest quality of living and remain attractive destinations for expanding business operations and sending expatriates on assignment.
Vienna in Austria took the global number one ranking for the eighth year running.
Other European cities like Zurich (ranked 2 globally), Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Geneva (8) and Basel (10) also secured top positions in the survey.
The only non-European cities in the Top 10 are Auckland (ranked 3 globally) and Vancouver (5).
Mercer’s survey also includes a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, public transportation, traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports.
Singapore tops the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich, both in second place.
"Economic instability, social unrest, and growing political upheaval all add to the complex challenge multinational companies face when analysing quality of living for their expatriate workforce," said Mercer's Career business president and senior partner Ilya Bonic in a statement on Monday.
"For multinationals and governments it is vital to have quality of living information that is accurate, detailed, and reliable."It not only enables these employers to compensate employees appropriately, but it also provides a planning benchmark and insights into the often-sensitive operational environment that surrounds their workforce," he said.