Poor Showing by the U.S. Cities

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of True Economics. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

Mercer 2018 Quality of Living rankings are out: https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Portals/0/Content/Rankings/rankings/qol2018i321456/index.html. Summary of key results:


  • Top 25:
  • Not a single U.S. city makes it into top 25.
  • Highest-ranked U.S. city, San Francisco, ranks 30th in the world, Boston and Honolulu – second and third highest ranked U.S. cities are in 35th and 36th places.
  • Canada dominates North American rankings with 5 cities in top 35 against U.S. two cities.
  • Only one North American city, Vancouver, makes it in top 10 globally.
  • Switzerland and Germany (3 cities each) dominate top 10 rankings.
  • Dublin ranks 34th in the world and London 41st, competitive relative to the U.S. cities, and against key peer European cities.


Quality of urban life is a key determinant of economic development, competitiveness and growth potential in the advanced economies. From this perspective, U.S. cities are lagging behind their global counterparts due to low value for money in quality of housing, poor transportation and connectivity systems, poor public safety, underinvestment in social and public amenities, and lower quality of schools. Controlling for private education and healthcare (benefits of which are highly concentrated at the top of income distributions), the U.S. cities competitiveness would be even less impressive than the above rankings suggest.

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