I work in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, and live in one of the outlying suburbs. If ever there was a town that could use a little boost in civic pride, Cleveland is that town, so I'm pleased to see that according to the Mercer 2007 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, Cleveland ranks at # 8 out of all U.S. cities for health and sanitation. The top city worldwide is Calgary, followed closely by Honolulu, the healthiest city in the United States. Cleveland's worldwide healthiness rank is # 37.
According to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, which developed the rankings, "healthiness" refers to "the quality and availability of hospital and medical supplies, and levels of air pollution and infectious diseases. The efficiency of waste removal and sewage systems, water potability and the presence of harmful animals and insects are also taken into account." The survey, according to Mercer, was developed to help governments and major companies place their employees on international assignments.
"As companies expand operations around the world, they consider the quality of life in several ways first, they recognize any diminution in quality of life that their cross-border employees may experience and factor that into their compensation packages," explains Rebecca Powers, a principal in Mercer's San Francisco office. "Moreover, as the workforce becomes more globally mobile, companies that want to attract the most sought after and highly skilled workers may gravitate to those locations where the quality of life is highest."
In terms of overall quality of living which Mercer defines as political, social, economic and environmental factors, personal safety and health, education, transportation and other public services Cleveland slips a bit down the list of U.S. cities to # 13 (# 59 worldwide), with Honolulu still at # 1 in the U.S., but # 27 worldwide. Zurich, Switzerland, has the distinction of having the best overall quality of living in the world, floolwed closely by its sister city, Geneva.
Click here to see the complete rankings.