Toronto Heads Global Liveability Index for North Americans

Toronto Skyline

Toronto is the most liveable location for North Americans according to the latest location ratings for expatriate living conditions published by ECA International.

“Good air quality, solid infrastructure, decent medical facilities, low crime and health risks have contributed to Toronto topping the global ranking for quality of living for American assignees,” said Michael Witkowski of ECA International New York.

ECA's location ratings system evaluates a host of factors to form an assessment of the overall quality of living in over 450 locations worldwide. The system helps companies establish appropriate allowances to compensate employees for the adjustment required when going on international assignment. Factors assessed include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions and air quality.

Toronto is followed by Dublin in the ranking for North American assignees. However, the impact of some of the factors assessed, such as distance from home and differences in culture, language and climate, will vary according to where someone comes from.

“Where an employee is going from and to can affect the level of adaptation required on the part of the assignee for some of the factors we measure,” said Witkowski. “For this reason, our analysis takes into account both the home and destination countries. So, while Toronto ranks at the top for Americans it falls to 30th for someone coming from Europe and 54th for someone coming from Asia. For European expatriates, Bern and Copenhagen are the most liveable location while, someone expatriating from Asia will find it easiest to adapt to living and working in Singapore.”

Canadian locations all fare well in the index with Ottawa and Vancouver sharing 3rd place globally. Boston and Seattle, both ranked 7th are the most liveable of the US locations listed.

In Latin America, Santiago (106th) is the easiest location surveyed to adapt to living and working in followed by Montevideo (107th). Haiti’s Port au Prince (262nd) is the most difficult.

Buenos Aires ranks 127th globally while Rio de Janeiro is in 143rd spot.

In Europe, Copenhagen and Zurich, both ranked 3rd globally, are the easiest European locations for North Americans to adapt to living and working in after Dublin (2).

The locations to see the biggest movement up and down the global ranking were both in Europe: Tirana (184th) in Albania has seen the biggest improvement this survey largely due to a significant upgrade in its education score. Kiev saw the largest deterioration in its score following the unrest there. It fell from 139th place in the ranking to 166th.

Canberra and Adelaide are the best scoring locations in Australia (36th globally). Wellington, ranked 27th is the most liveable New Zealand location surveyed.

Singapore (92nd globally), is the Asian city that offers the best quality of living for North American assignees followed by Hong Kong (98th). Beijing (143) and New Delhi (219) have the worst score for air quality globally.

For North American assignees going to Africa, Port Louis, Mauritius, (113) affords the best quality of living, followed by Cape Town (115).

Significant deterioration in scores were also seen in Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia (Liberia), Tripoli (Libya), Sana’a (Yemen) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

Globally, the hardest locations to adapt to living and working in are the Afghan locations of Lashkar Gah and Kandahar.