Vienna has beaten Zurich to be crowned the place with the best quality of living in an annual survey in which European cities dominated the top 10.
Management consultancy Mercer said Vienna scored the highest for overall quality of living in the 215-city survey after improvements in Austria's political and social environment, knocking the Swiss city of Zurich into second position.
Third in the list came another Swiss city, Geneva, followed by Vancouver, Canada, and Auckland, New Zealand, in shared fourth place.
Baghdad, Iraq, came last despite slight improvements in its infrastructure and moves to encourage investment.
Three German cities made the top 10 -- Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt -- with the list rounded out by Bern in Switzerland and Sydney, Australia.
The highest U.S. ranking in the 2009 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey was Honolulu which came 29th while Washington and New York remained in positions 44 and 49 respectively.
London came 38th in the list which is designed to help governments and companies formulate international packages for their employees.
"As a result of the current financial crisis, multinationals are looking to review their international assignment policies with a view to cutting costs," said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, in a statement.
"Many companies plan to reduce the number of medium to long-term international assignments and localize their expatriate compensation packages where possible though the hardship allowance, based on quality of living criteria, will remain an essential component of the package."
Singapore was the top-scoring Asian city, coming in 26th which was up six places from a year ago due to its growing importance as a financial center and its wide range of international and private schools.
Beijing moved up three places to 113, boosted by improvements in public transport facilities from the Olympics last August.