New Zealanders based in the country's two biggest cities continue to experience some of the top rated quality of life in the world, a new survey says.

Auckland has managed to hold on to third spot in the Mercer 2011 Quality of Life Survey - taking out bronze for the fourth year in a row and earning the highest ranking in the Asia Pacific region.

Meanwhile, Wellington has held on to 13th place.

Researchers considered 39 pieces of criteria in the annual list, including the economic environment, health, education, transport, housing, personal freedom and recreational factors like restaurants, sport facilities and cinemas.


"New Zealand cities consistently score highly on all livability factors," says Georgina Hartley, from Mercer.

Out of the 221 cities on the list, Vienna took out pole position, followed by Zurich, then Auckland and Munich. Meanwhile, Baghdad comes in last.

Across the Tasman, Sydney was Australia's highest ranked city coming in at 11, followed by Melbourne (18) and Perth (21).

Hartley says New Zealand's high rankings could lure international talent to our shores, bringing business and filling skills shortages.

"In contrast to Europe and the United States, New Zealand has a relatively strong economic outlook which increases its appeal as a safe haven from economic insecurity."