Pipping past the four metro cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, southern technology hub Bangalore has emerged as the best city to live in India, a global survey said on Tuesday.
Despite its top Indian ranking, Bangalore's worldwide rank is very low at 141st position in a list of 221 cities globally in terms of standard of living, compiled by the 'Quality of Living Survey - Worldwide Rankings, 2011' by the global HR (human resources) consultancy major Mercer.
Vienna has been ranked as the world's best city to live in on the global list, which has five Indian cities - Bangalore (141st), New Delhi (143rd), Mumbai (144th), Chennai (150th) and Kolkata (151st).
Globally, Vienna is followed by Zurich, Auckland, Munich, Dusseldorf, Vancouver, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Bern among the top-ranked cities in terms of quality of living, Mercer said.
In another list of the world's best cities in terms of personal safety standards, Luxembourg has been placed on the top, followed by Bern, Helsinki, Zurich, Vienna, Geneva and Stockholm.
On this list, Indian cities have been ranked a little better, as Bangalore has got 117th place, New Delhi and Kolkata shared the 127th position, Mumbai is at 142 and Chennai is placed at 108th.
The personal safety ranking has been on measures of internal stability, crime levels, law enforcement effectiveness and host-country's international relations.
A host of Indian and foreign IT companies, as also many multinational companies from other sectors, have set up shop in Bangalore for their outsourcing and R&D (research and development units).
On the other hand, Mumbai plays host to the companies mostly from the financial services sector, being the financial capital of the country, while New Delhi's attraction has been its status as the national capital. Chennai and Kolkata are have also been catching up fast in the recent past as major industrial hubs within the country.
About the survey, Mercer said that many cities in Asia have fared badly due to issues like political turmoil and lack of suitable infrastructure.
"Many Asian cities rank at the bottom, due to social instability, political turmoil, pollution, disease and sanitation issues, natural disasters such as typhoons and tsunamis, and lack of suitable infrastructure," Mercer's Asia Pacific leader for Global Mobility Phil Stanley said.
Globally, Baghdad (Iraq) has been ranked as lowest in terms of quality of living at 221st position. Other cities with the lowest quality of living are Khartoum, Sudan (217), Port-au-Prince, Haiti (218), N'Djamena, Chad (219), and Bangui, Central African Republic (220).
In terms of safety standards also, Baghdad is ranked the worst as the worst's least safe city at 221st position, preceded by N'Djamena, Chad (220), Abidjan, Cte d'Ivoire (219), Bangui, Central African Republic (218), and Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (217).
Within Asia-Pacific region, Auckland (3) is the highest-ranking city for quality of living, followed by Sydney (11), Wellington (13), Melbourne (18) and Perth (21).
The highest-ranking Asian cities are Singapore (25) and Tokyo (46), Hong Kong (70), Kuala Lumpur (76), Seoul (80) and Taipei (85).
At the same time, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (186), Yangon, Myanmar (196) and Dhaka, Bangladesh (204), have been ranked lowest in the region.
Mercer said that the rankings would help the companies in assigning their employees on assignments across the world.
Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer, commented: "Companies need to keep on top of current developments to ensure that their compensation packages remain competitive and continue to motivate expatriate employees."