Lonely Planet Writer

Discover which cities have been voted the best in the world for quality of life

London has been voted the best city in the world for quality of life in a new study, thanks to its health service, legal system and infrastructure.

London was voted the best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock
London was voted the best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

The English capital beat stiff competition in a study conducted by PwC, which examined what 5200 people from 16 countries thought about 30 global cities.

Paris was voted the second best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: karamysh/Shutterstock
Paris was voted the second best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: karamysh/Shutterstock

Paris came second in the study, which measured over 40 metrics related to politics, economics and social issues. It was ranked number one in cultural influence, including attractions and setting cultural trends, and in the top three cities in terms of entertainment and cuisine.

New York was voted the third best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Ryan D. Budhu/Getty Images
New York was voted the third best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Ryan D. Budhu/Getty Images

New York came third in the poll, which examined the level of regard respondents held for each city, and the factors they associated with each one. It was number one in being viewed overall as “a leader,” for its economic influence
and ability to provide easy access to capital.

Amsterdam was voted the fourth best city in the world for quality of life in a PWC study. Image: M. Letschert/Shutterstock
Amsterdam was voted the fourth best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: M. Letschert/Shutterstock

The factors examined included well-developed infrastructure; innovation; leadership; influence in terms of economics, politics, and culture; happiness; affordability; traffic congestion, strong public transportation; great entertainment and cultural attractions; income equality; safety; access to public education and public health; and great food.

Sydney was voted the fifth best city in the world for quality of life in a PWC study. Image: Cailtin Holmes/Lonely Planet
Sydney was voted the fifth best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Cailtin Holmes/Lonely Planet

There were two parts to the study – Best Cities, which was all about perceptions people held, and Cities of Opportunity, which focused on the actual reality.

The best cities in the world for quality of life. as measured by a PWC study. Image: PWC
The best cities in the world for quality of life. as measured by a PwC study. Image: PwC

Some of the cities didn’t score as highly in reality as they did on perceptions in particular areas, or vice versa.

Berlin was voted the sixth best city in the world for quality of life in a PWC study. Image: Oliver Hoffmann/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Berlin was voted the sixth best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Oliver Hoffmann/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Making up the remainder of the top ten Best Cities were Amsterdam, SydneyBerlin, Tokyo, Toronto, Stockholm, and Los Angeles.

Tokyo was voted the seventh best city in the world for quality of life in a PWC study. Image: Mytruestory Photography
Tokyo was voted the seventh best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Mytruestory Photography

In the Cities of Opportunity report, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Singapore made the top ten, but Berlin, Tokyo and Los Angeles didn’t.

Toronto was voted the eighth best city in the world for quality of life in a PWC study. Image: d3sign/Getty Images/Moment RF
Toronto was voted the eighth best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: d3sign/Getty Images/Moment RF

Mexico City, despite ranking 25th on overall cultural clout, was deemed to be an example of a city that is making great strides to position itself for more cultural influence in the future. In reality, it ranked third in Cities of Opportunity, because of its access to libraries and the fact that it has more than 150 museums.

Stockholm was voted the ninth best city in the world for quality of life in a PWC study. Image: Westend61/Getty Images
Stockholm was voted the ninth best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Westend61/Getty Images

Singapore, which came in at number 17 in the overall perceptions poll, was actually found to rank at number two in reality, indicating that its strengths are not always recognised by the public.

Los Angeles was voted the tenth best city in the world for quality of life in a PWC study. Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Los Angeles was voted the tenth best city in the world for quality of life in a PwC study. Image: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

To read the full PwC publication on both the Best Cities and Cities of Opportunity reports, see here.