Cracks me up how people can be so worried about what other people think of where they live... http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23843723-2,00.html
AUCKLAND is a better city to live in than any in Australia, and even windy Wellington tops Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
The latest rankings of quality of living in the world's major cities entrenches Australia's capitals among the top 35, with Sydney in 10th place, Melbourne in 17th, Perth 21st, Adelaide 29th and Brisbane 34th.
But Auckland comes 5th and Wellington 12th in the latest rankings by consulting firm Mercer, which measure the political, social, economic and environmental climate along with levels of education, health and safety, transport and public services.
The top five places on this year's list remained unchanged, with Zurich ahead of Vienna, Geneva, Vancouver and Auckland.
Swiss and German cities again dominate the top 10, with Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt ranked seven, eight and nine.
Baghdad 'the worst'
African cities blanket the bottom end, with Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Khartoum in Sudan among the lowest 10.
The Iraqi capital Baghdad was considered worst of the 215 cities in which to live.
The annual global index is designed to assist companies and governments determine compensation packages when employees are relocated internationally.
Cities were rated on 39 quality-of-life criteria including political, social, economic and environmental factors, personal safety, health, education and transport.
This year's index has left some of Australia's civic leaders reeling, particularly in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Municipal Association of Victoria president Dick Gross said he was surprised that Melbourne came in lower than Auckland and Wellington.
"I'm more than surprised, I'm verging on depressed, and I'm deeply appalled," he said.
"Melbourne does brilliantly on all measures, except public transport," he said.
Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman Chris James said: "We are somewhat puzzled at this, particularly when one considers that people are leaving New Zealand and Sydney in droves and contributing to record population growth in Melbourne."
Brisbane slipped back by two places, and Commerce Queensland president Beatrice Booth said: "I am extremely offended.
"I would have thought that we would have been well up the list, definitely above Sydney and Melbourne. Brisbane is more liveable. It's not as big, very workable, very business-oriented and growing, so there must be something that's attracting people to Brisbane."
Brisbane businesswoman Sarina Russo said: "I fail to understand why we have dropped because Brisbane has got to be one of the most international cities and one of the most liveable cities.
"I think Adelaide's got its beauty, but Brisbane is just so much more exciting as a city. When you arrive in Brisbane, there's atmosphere, energy, the arts. Do they know about our Picasso exhibition right now?"
And Brisbane Institute executive director Kay Saunders defended the city's quality of life, citing amenities such as South Bank, libraries and parks.
"I'm surprised that Sydney ranked higher than Brisbane," she said. "I think Sydney would be very hard to live in."