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The 21 Best Cities To Live In

"Some cities are just easier to live in than others.

Global consulting firm ECA International came out with a list of the most livable cities around the world for North Americans.

The ranking objectively evaluates a bunch of factors that contribute to the overall quality of living, including climate, availability of health services, housing and utilities, isolation, access to social network and leisure facilities, personal safety, air quality, infrastructure, and political tensions.

So if you're thinking about moving somewhere, may we recommend that you check out the following cities. Canada, Northern Europe, and the United States dominated the list.

14. Montreal, Canada [tied]

Montreal's economy is extremely diversified. Major industries include aerospace, electronic goods, pharmaceuticals, engineering, finance, and research and development.

Montreal also happens to have the second largest French-speaking population in the world (it's behind only Paris).

14. Eindhoven, Netherlands [tied]

Although it's not a particularly large city, Eindhoven has grown into one a leading city in the 21st century by getting ahead in both technological innovation and design. Additionally, it's a university city with a number of undergraduate schools.

In 2011, the city was named the most intelligent community by the Intelligent Community Forum.

14. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg [tied]

Luxembourg's economy runs on the steel, banking, and industrial industries. In fact, the largest steel company in the world, ArcelorMittal, is based in Luxembourg City.

Although Luxembourg has three official languages: French, German, and Lëtzebuergesch ("Luxembourgish.")

14. Berlin, Germany [tied]

Berlin houses big names like Borsig, AEG, and Siemens, but is always advancing in the sciences and academics. Additionally, the city has established a major film industry, and tourism has skyrocketed in recent years.

A three day international beer festival with over 300 breweries and 2,000 sorts of beers takes place in Berlin. Oh, and it's held in a 1.4-mile-long beer garden — the longest in the world.

14. Vienna, Austria [tied]

A large proportion of workers in Vienna are white-collar workers, public employees, and civil servants — and that percentage continues to grow. Over half of the employees in Austria's service industry live in Vienna. Overall, Austria's most important and fastest-growing industry is tourism.

Vienna is known for its famous sachertorte, a thick chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam.

14. Basel, Switzerland [tied]

UBS and the Bank for International Settlements are headquartered in Basel. The city also has a large watch-making industry, as well as pharmaceuticals, biotech, and nanotechnology.

Basel in a major cultural center in Europe, and houses a huge art collection in the Kuntsmuseum Basel.

14. Gothenburg, Sweden [tied]

Major sectors in Gothenburg include technology, engineering, and several industrial companies. Additionally, the city serves as a major port.

In August, you can go to a three-day musical festival in the city called Way Out West.

14. Stavanger, Norway [tied]

Stavanger is the center of the oil and gas industry in Norway, and one of the biggest energy hubs in Europe. Half of the people living in Norway who work in energy are located in Stavanger.

Every May, Stavanger hosts a huge international jazz festival called MaiJazz.

12. The Hague, The Netherlands [tied]

The Hague is a major international city, with over 150 international organizations located there. Notably, it houses the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.

Everyone's always buzzing over Amsterdam, but you can legally smoke weed in The Hague, too.

12. Geneva, Switzerland [tied]

The headquarters for the UN, the Red Cross, and the World Health Organization are all located in Geneva (not to mention other international organizations such as the WTO and WEF). And the city's also known as a major financial hub.

The uber-luxury watch company Patek Philippe was founded in Geneva in 1852.

The headquarters for the UN, the Red Cross, and the World Health Organization are all located in Geneva (not to mention other international organizations such as the WTO and WEF). And the city's also known as a major financial hub.

The uber-luxury watch company Patek Philippe was founded in Geneva in 1852.

11. Greenwich, Connecticut, US

Greenwich has a large community of financiers. The city houses hedge funds, as well as Wall Streeters and their families.

Greenwich is one of the wealthiest areas in the US, but is also part of the most unequal place in the country.

7. Boston, Massachusetts, US [tied]

Boston is a major intellectual center in the US, housing numerous universities and medical centers. Other major industries include the financial services, creative industries, and renewable energy.

The Boston Red Sox sold out a record 820 consecutive games in a row.

7. Seattle, Washington, US [tied]
Seattle's major industries include aerospace, information and communications technology and healthcare. Additionally, tech and clean energy are increasingly becoming more dominant industries.Microsoft founder Bill Gates was born in Seattle.

7. Stockholm, Sweden [tied]

Stockholm is Sweden's major industrial center, including metal and machine manufacturing, as well as paper, printing and chemicals.

Stockholm became the capital of Sweden in 1436.

7. Bern, Switzerland [tied]

The service sector is Bern's major industry, but tourism is also a driver of the city's economy.

Watch giant Swatch is headquartered in Bern.

3. Vancouver, Canada [tied]

Vancouver has one of the most active startup scenes, and it was ranked ninth in the world on the Startup Ecosystem Report 2012. Both HootSuite and Avigilon have their headquarters in the city.

Vancouver also has the third-largest film industry in North America.

3. Ottawa, Canada [tied]

Ottawa's economy centers around two major sectors: technology and the federal government. The two sectors account for 37% of the city's GDP.

There is a 30-foot-high spider sculpture called "Maman" in Ottawa's National Gallery of Canada.

3. Zurich, Switzerland [tied]

Zurich is another financial hub in Europe — about a quarter of the jobs in the city are finance related. Biotech and life sciences are also big industries, while the small aerospace and automotive supplier industries are rapidly expanding.

Zurich's St. Peter Church has the largest clock face in Europe (not Big Ben, like most people think.)

3. Copenhagen, Denmark [tied]

Copenhagen is a business, finance and commercial center in Scandinavia. Big industries include pharma, biotech, computer science, and telecommunications.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Copenhagen is a bronze statue of the little mermaid, based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.

2. Dublin, Ireland

In the past, Dublin was a major food processing and manufacturing city, but it has attracted major global pharma and tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Yahoo!.

Guinness originated in Dublin, and is still brewed there.

1. Toronto, Canada

“Good air quality, solid infrastructure, decent medical facilities, low crime and health risks have contributed to Toronto topping the global ranking for quality of living for American assignees,” said Michael Witkowski, vice president of ECA International.

Toronto has a huge services industry, including law, accounting and advertising. Over 56% of employees in Toronto's multifaceted economy have post-secondary degrees or certificates. It's also the major design center of Canada's design economy, and has a "fast-moving" fashion industry, which has contributed to the 550% increase of Canadian apparel exports since 1994.

The longest street in the world — Yonge Street — runs through Toronto."

Source: Elena Holodny, Business Insider UK. January 22, 2015.