TIME’s Best Places to Live Does Not Include Any in the USA

TIME has one of those lists that we always start to see as the year comes to a close. This one is the top ten best and worst places in the world to live. Sadly, there isn’t a single place in the U.S.A. on that list.

The worst place to live on this list is, unsurprisingly, the disaster-prone (both man-made and natural-made) country of Haiti. Neither Yemen nor Iraq fare much better than Haiti. The rest of the top ten worst list is filled out with African nations — again, unsurprisingly.

But it’s the best-places list that disappoints the red, white and blue as not one of the best places in the world in which to live are in the good ol’ U. S. of A.

The “Best Quality of Living” list is:

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Zurich, Switzerland
  3. Auckland, New Zealand
  4. Munich, Germany
  5. Vancouver, Canada
  6. Dusseldorf, Germany
  7. Frankfurt, Germany
  8. Geneva, Switzerland
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Bern, Switzerland

What is the deal? Why does this list diss the United States? In fact, the USA doesn’t even appear in the top 25 best places.

The first U.S. city doesn’t appear on the full “best” list until the 28th spot (Honolulu, Hawaii). The other U.S. cities in the top 50 are San Francisco (29th), Boston Mass. (35th), Chicago, Illinois (42nd), Washington D.C. (43rd), New York City, New York (44th-tied), Seattle, Wash. (44th-tied), and Pittsburgh, Penn. (49th).

Sadly, in this day and age, we find ourselves torn over a list like this. I mean, with as bad as the age of Obama has gotten, perhaps we should not be surprised that we didn’t make the top ten list.

On the other hand, this is TIME magazine we are talking about. We’d be hard pressed to imagine that any list reported upon by TIME would ever hold the U.S. in very high regard.

So, what are the criteria for this thing, anyway? Well, the list was compiled by the New York City-based consulting firm Mercer and they claim that they measure the following ten categories:

  • Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement)
  • Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services)
  • Socio-cultural environment (censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
  • Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc.)
  • Schools and education (standard and availability of international schools)
  • Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.)
  • Recreation (restaurants, theaters, movie theaters, sports and leisure, etc.)
  • Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc.)
  • Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
  • Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters

Though some of these categories are awfully subjective — I mean, availability of theaters? Seriously? — in the era of intrusive big government, with our destroyed Obama economy, and with the increasing big brotherism indulged by our various governments, local, state and federal, I can see why we are losing ground in measures of freedom.

In any case, there are mixed emotions with this list. It is maddening all the way around that the U.S.A. does not at all figure prominently on a list of the best places in the world in which to live.

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  • I don’t know what Time magazine said, but I did read the Mercer survey. Sure, people in the USA may whine about the survey if they take it out of the context of its stated purpose. I would go so far as to say that whining about the survey’s results is an exercise in ethnocentrism.

    Here is an excerpt from the Mercer survey:

    Mercer conducts this survey annually to help multinational companies and other organizations compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Mercer’s Quality of Living reports provide valuable information and hardship premium recommendations for many cities throughout the world. Mercer’s Quality of Living index list covers 221 cities, ranked against New York as the base city.

    This year’s ranking separately identifies the cities with the best infrastructure based on electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transportation, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports. Singapore is at the top of this index, followed by Frankfurt and Munich in second place. Copenhagen (4) and Dusseldorf (5) fill the next two slots, while Hong Kong and London share sixth place. Port-au-Prince (221) ranks at the bottom of the list.

    The highest-ranking US cities on the city infrastructure list are Atlanta (13), Dallas (15), Washington, DC (22) and Chicago (28).

    “In order for multinational companies to ensure their expatriates are compensated appropriately and an adequate hardship allowance is included in compensation packages, they must be aware of current events and local circumstances,” said Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer. “Factors such as internal stability, law enforcement effectiveness, crime levels and medical facilities are important to consider when deciding on an international assignment, and the impact on daily life that could be encountered by the expatriate in overseas placements.

    • Commander_Chico

      Yes, this is about business. Executives want safety, transportation and communications infrastructure, good schools for their kids.

      The USA ain’t all that, at least with urban living. Good cities seem to correlate with eurosocialist policies. I include Boston and SF in that regard.

      The Germans cleaned up on the list, 6 out of the top ten are German-speaking, including Zurich, Bern and Vienna. They know how to do trains, streetcars, cafes, and theaters. German police are also very polite, more polite than US police – I can personally attest to that.

  • 914

    Obviously European leftist liberals filled out the list.. Chicago 42nd?? Yeah right..

    • jim_m

      Chicago ranked that low because of their draconian gun laws. /sarcasm

      The good news is that the only state in the union without a concealed carry law just had that restriction struck down in the Appellate Court.

      I would question ranking San Francisco over Boston, and ranking NYC over any city (OK Port Au Prince can remain at 221).

    • Pat Carr

      Yeah – RIGHT. ever been there? Probably not. I grew up there. It’s a disgusting dirty violent city outside of a few nice areas. Don’t talk about things you are ignorant of

  • Hugh_G

    I thought we had a two week reprieve from Huston’s incessant whining? So you lied about that too? Or did you get fired already?

    • warnertoddhuston

      Typical liberal. Can’t read.

      • There he goes on while lacking the appropriate tool for the job…

  • SteveCrickmore075

    I mean, with as bad as the age of Obama has gotten, perhaps we should not be surprised that we didn’t make the top ten list.
    Don’t be so gloom conservatives, you are not without distinction or recognition for your efforts, Baghdad could never achieved it’s singular title as the world’s worst city to live in, for quality of life, in 2012, without the 2003 invasion and occupation.

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  • For you to complain about it, I’m sure you have never been to Europe. Europe rules!!!