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Forget London, New York or Tokyo, for a better quality of life you should go to Wellington, Edinburgh or Vienna.

According to a ranking of cities on measures such as cost of living, pollution, climate and house prices by Deutsche Bank analysts, Edinburgh in Scotland came second, ahead of Vienna and behind Wellington in New Zealand.

Using data from Numbeo, a crowdsourced website that compiles data from expats, the Scottish capital was the second best in the world for commute times and also scored highly for air-quality, house prices and healthcare.

Meanwhile big cities like London and New York were in the bottom half of the table of 47 countries. However the researchers, led by Jim Reid, noted that options for socialising and having fun were not a factor included in the calculations, which is why many people put up with the hassle of living in a big city.

“Megacities often offer aspirational qualities that the average citizen may strive towards and in return accept some quality of life impairment,” they added.

Other interesting facts in the study of prices and incomes worldwide included:

  • If you share a rented mid-market two-bed flat with another person, then your average disposable income in London is almost half that in New York, a gulf that has widened following the post-Brexit vote fall in the pound. US cities generally offer better pay than in Europe.
  • Out of all of the 33 countries they surveyed, a new iPhone was the cheapest in the US, once the price was converted to dollars using market rates. Turkey, Brazil, Russia and Greece topped the ranking, with an iPhone 7 costing more than $1,000. The UK was 10 per cent more expensive than the US for an iPhone 7.
  • Public transport in London is by far the most expensive in the world, with a monthly ticket for inner London costing 48 per cent more than in New York, which came fourth. The cheapest cities were Mumbai and New Delhi.
  • Milan replaced Zurich as the most expensive city to go for a weekend break, mainly because of expensive hotels.
  • Unsurprisingly, Zurich was the most expensive city on many measures but also offered the highest salaries. Scandinavian cities are also very expensive.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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