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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, October 4, 2002

Study ranks Vancouver, Melbourne as 'best' cities

By Dao Thu Hien
Bloomberg News Service

LONDON — Melbourne, Australia and Vancouver, British Columbia are the best cities for expatriates, because they're safe, entertaining, and have good transportation and housing, the Economist Intelligence Unit said.

In a study of 130 cities worldwide, the research company named Washington, D.C., as the hardest place in the United States in which to settle because of terrorist threats.

Honolulu topped all U.S. cities as the best place to live, with a 7 percent rating, because it has a favorable climate, good housing, low risk of crime, and abundant recreational activities, according to the report by the unit of The Economist magazine.

Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, is the worst place in the world to live, the report said.

The survey was conducted as part of the London-based Economist's service to companies that must compensate employees who are sent away from their home cities.

For hardship ratings on a scale of 0 percent to 100 percent, employers are advised to offer allowances of 0 percent to 20 percent.

Washington, at 19 percent, is on a par with Rome and Prague, Czech Republic, The Economist said. Employers should offer people hardship allowances in cases where cities have hardship ratings of 20 percent or higher, the company said.

Melbourne and Vancouver both got 1 percent hardship ratings.