Vienna, Austria Named World’s Best Place to Live

It basically came down to the apple strudel.

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Jorg Greuel / Getty

Vienna, Austria was named the best place to live in Mercer's 2011 Quality of Life survey

The capital and largest city in the land of opera, sausage and schnitzel is now officially the nicest place in the world. Mercer consulting group’s annual Quality of Living survey has concluded that Vienna, Austria is the best place to live for 2011.

Vienna’s excellent infrastructure, safe streets and good public health service helped it top the list. The city, with its ornate buildings, public parks and extensive bicycle network, recently reduced the cost of its annual public transport ticket to 1 euro a day. Serious crime is rare among Vienna’s roughly 1.7 million inhabitants.

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But Mercer warned that top-ranking European locales could not take their position for granted in the survey, which assessed more than 200 cities. “They are not immune to any decrease of living standards should this (economic) turmoil persist,” Mercer’s senior researcher Slagin Parakatil said on the company’s website.

Political and economic unrest in Africa and the Middle East also pushed down scores for cities in countries like Libya, Egypt and Yemen. On the other hand, cities in Asia and Australia such as Singapore and Melbourne benefited from political stability and solid growth.

Zurich, Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva and Bern also placed in the top 10, while Baghdad came in at last place. The only North American city to make the top 10 was Vancouver, Canada, which ranked fifth. Click here to see the full list.

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