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Port Louis is Africa's best city: Mercer survey

According to Mercer's 2018 Quality of Living Survey, Port Louis is the best city in Africa, ranking 83rd globally. The Mauritian city is followed by Durban (89), Cape Town (94) and Johannesburg (95).
Carl van Heerden, principal at Mercer and global mobility leader for Africa, commented: “A city’s place in the rankings is dependent on local living conditions, which are analysed according to a wide variety of factors which reflect their importance to expatriates. Appropriate infrastructure, health facilities, safety and security are some of the important aspects that make a city attractive to both talent and businesses.”

Port Louis, Mauritius © byvalet – 123RF.com

The Mercer Quality of Living survey, which was first published in 1994, is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

South Africa’s top three cities


“Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg still feature in the top 100 cities, according to our quality of living ranking, making South Africa attractive to expatriates and multinationals. Quality of living is amongst the important factors that companies weigh when they prepare a long-term strategy around where they should expand and locate global staff,” said Van Heerden.

Global ranking


Vienna tops the ranking for the ninth year running and is followed by Zurich (2), Auckland and Munich in joint 3rd place. In 5th place, Vancouver completes the top five and is the highest ranking city in North America. Singapore (25), Dubai (74) and Montevideo (77), are the highest ranking cities in Asia, Middle East and Latin America, respectively.



This year, Mercer provides a separate ranking on city sanitation, which analyses cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality, which are equally important to those who choose to work and live in these cities.

Victoria (58th) ranks highest on the African continent for city sanitation, followed by Durban (73) and Port Louis (80). Johannesburg is in 81st place, while Cape Town is at 84 on the city sanitation list.

Honolulu tops the city sanitation ranking, followed by Helsinki and Ottawa in joint second.

Mercer produces individual cost of living and rental accommodation cost reports for each city surveyed. For more information on city rankings, click here.
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