Super city or not, Auckland is one of the best cities in the world to live in, according to Mercer's 2009 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey.
In the international consultancy and investment service provider's survey of 215 cities, Auckland was ranked fourth-equal with Vancouver, rising from fifth last year.
Wellington was also highly rated, coming in at number 12, the same as last year. No other New Zealand cities were judged.
Mercer determines rankings by comparing each city against New York City which is used as a benchmark. New York is given an index score of 100 and ranked at number 49. Cities are rated on 39 criteria, including political, social, economic and environmental factors, plus health, education, transport and other public services. The data was collected between September and November last year.
Mercer spokesman Rob Knox said that despite the financial crisis New Zealand remained a very attractive market for expats, and supported a strong case for multi-national firms to continue sending staff in need of career development opportunities here.
"Both New Zealand and Australia boast some of the most liveable cities in the world - which means we remain very attractive for 'expat' workers and this is good news for our economy," said Knox.
The big Australian cities also fared well but came in behind Auckland. Sydney was ranked 10, Melbourne 18, Perth 21, Adelaide 30 and Brisbane 34.
The Austrian capital Vienna tipped Switzerland's Zurich out of top place while Geneva, also in Switzerland, took third place.
A German trio of Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt and Switzerland's Bern rounded out the top 10.
Baghdad came last out of all 215 cities due to a lack of security and stability, with Bangui in the Central African Republic 214 and Chad's Ndjamena 213.
London ranked 38, Singapore 26, Tokyo 35 and Paris 33.
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