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Rankings of the best places to live are always a little suspect. Austin? Sure, if you like counting down to the 100 straight day of 100° degree weather every year. But Fayetteville and Des Moines? Something is fishy with any metric that has those as the fourth- and fifth-best places to live in America. Boise? Calgary? Come on. Even the most superficially plausible lists are a little off: Arlington, Ann Arbor and Berkeley all seem nice enough, but still, the best?

So it goes with Deutsche Bank’s annual rankings of the cities with the best quality of life in the world. Five years ago, this index named Frankfurt the best city in the world to live in. Now, we’ve had our fun with Frankfurt, on account of having resided there and thus having first-hand knowledge that it is not the best city in the world to live (or do anything else) in by a wide margin. Still, like all higher education rankings save one, these lists are designed more to troll and make you feel bad about your 18-hour-a-day analyst job and 85-square-foot UWS studio than to actually present an actionable run-down of places you could move. In this case, we could chalk it up to a little misplaced hometown pride.

Now, however, credibility is at a premium at Deutsche, and so the charade had to come to an end.

Frankfurt now ranks just 13th in an index of quality of life in international cities compiled by London-based strategists Jim Reid and Craig Nicol, down from top place five years ago. New cities have been introduced that rank higher—Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Helsinki—but Frankfurt also suffered because rising home prices have depressed postrent incomes…. Salaries in Germany’s financial capital just aren’t what they used to be either.

Thirteenth is still an order of magnitude or two too high, but it’s a step in the right direction. On the other hand…

Zurich took top honors this year, trailed by Wellington, New Zealand, and Copenhagen.

Keep working on it, boys.

Life in Frankfurt Isn’t What It Was, Says Deutsche Bank [WSJ]


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