A new study by a UK research company puts the occupied Iraqi capital last of 215 cities it profiled throughout the world.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting based its overall quality of life survey on political, social, economic and environmental factors, as well as personal safety, health, education, transport and other public services.

 

It was compiled to help governments and major companies to place employees on international assignments.

 

The study, released on Monday, said Baghdad is now the world’s least attractive city for expatriates.

 

Top Swiss cities

 

Placed 213th out of 215 cities last year, Baghdad's rating has dropped due to ongoing concerns over security and the city’s precarious infrastructure.

 

The survey revealed that Zurich and Geneva are the world’s top-rated urban centres.

 

"The threat of terrorism in the Middle East and the political and economic turmoil in African countries has increased the disparity between cities at the top and the bottom end of the rankings”

Slagin Parakatil,
Mercer Human Resource Consulting

The rating takes into account the cities' schools, where standards of education are now considered among the best in the world.

 

Cities in Europe, New Zealand, and Australia continue to dominate the top of the rankings.

 

Vienna shares third place with Vancouver, while Auckland, Bern, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Sydney are joint fifth.

 

US cities slide

 

However, US cities have slipped in the rankings this year as tighter restrictions have been imposed on entry to the country.

 

Several US cities now also have to deal with increased security checks as a result of the "war on terror".

 

Meanwhile, other poor-scoring cities for overall quality of life include Bangui in the Central African Republic, and Brazzaville and Pointe Noire in Congo.

 

Mercer senior researcher Slagin Parakatil said: “The threat of terrorism in the Middle East and the political and economic turmoil in African countries has increased the disparity between cities at the top and the bottom end of the rankings.”