MANILA, Philippines - Manila ranked 128th out of 221 cities in a global survey of cities offering the best quality of life. The Philippine capital's ranking was unchanged from the previous year's survey conducted by consultant group Mercer.
Vienna, Austria topped Mercer's 2012 Quality of Living Survey as the city with the world's best quality of living.
Zurich and Auckland followed in second and third place, with Munich in fourth place and Vancouver in fifth.
Among Asian cities, Singapore ranked the highest on the list at 25 followed by Japanese cities Tokyo (44), Kobe (48), Yokohama (49) and Osaka (57).
Hong Kong (70), Seoul (75), Kuala Lumpur (80), Taipei (85) and Shanghai (95) are other major Asian cities ranked in the top 100.
In Southeast Asia, Bangkok ranked 115th, followed by Manila (128), Jakarta (138), Hanoi (147) and Ho Chi Minh City (149).
The lowest-ranking cities in Asia are Dhaka, Bangladesh (203); Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (204); and Dushanbe, Tajikistan (207).
"A noticeable gap can be seen among Asia Pacific cities where several cities have improved in the region partly because they have been investing massively in infrastructure and public services,” said Phil Stanley, Asia Pacific Global Mobility Leader, in a statement.
"Competition among municipalities has been continuously increasing in order to attract multinationals, foreigners, expatriates and tourists. Yet a considerable number of Asian cities rank in the bottom quartile, mainly due to high political volatility, poor infrastructure and obsolete public services."
Mercer's annual survey helps companies set compensation for staff on international assignments, using different factors such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport. The Quality of Living index list covers 221 cities, ranked against New York as the base city.
Europe dominates list
Despite its sovereign debt crisis, Europe has 15 of the world's top 25 cities in the 2012 survey. Germany and Switzerland each have three in the top 10. The lowest-ranking city in western Europe was Athens, gripped by deep economic woes.
"Overall, European cities continue to have high quality of living as a result of a combination of increased stability, rising living standards and advanced city infrastructures," said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.
"But economic turmoil, political tension and high unemployment in some European countries and high levels of unemployment have continued to be problematic in the region."
Canadian cities dominated rankings in the Americas region, with Vancouver at number five retaining the top spot and Honolulu at 28 the most pleasant U.S. urban center.
New Zealand's Auckland at number three is still atop the Asia Pacific region's charts, while Dubai at 73 gets best marks in the Middle East and Africa.
But that region also has 15 cities in the bottom 20, including Lagos, Nigeria; Bamako, Mali; Khartoum, Sudan; and N'Djamena, Chad. Iraq's capital Baghdad was ranked lowest in the world.
PH ranks 120th in city infrastructure
Singapore ranked highest in Mercer's list of cities based on infrastructure, followed by Hong Kong (6) and Tokyo (32). Other Asian cities that ranked high in the list are Nagoya (41), Kobe (44), Seoul (50) and Osaka (51)
The Philippine capital landed on 120th spot in the survey.
Asia's lowest-ranking city for city infrastructure is Dhaka, Bangladesh (205). - With Reuters