Vienna offers the highest quality of life of all cities in the world, while Baghdad takes its place at the bottom of the list of 230 cities once more.
The survey uses dozens of criteria, such as political stability and prevalence of crime, along with the quality of healthcare, education, recreation and transport.
The top African entry on the list was Durban at 85.
Cape Town and Johannesburg were ranked 92nd and 95th respectively.
London, Paris, Tokyo and New York did not make the top 30, lagging behind German, Scandinavian and Australian cities.
Vienna’s 1.7million inhabitants benefit from the city’s café culture and famous museums, theatres and operas.
Rents and public transport costs in the city – with architecture marked by its past as the centre of the Habsburg empire – are cheap compared with other Western capitals.
Switzerland’s Zurich, New Zealand’s Auckland, Germany’s Munich and Canada’s Vancouver followed Vienna – which topped the rankings for the seventh time in a row – in the top five most pleasant cities to live in.
Baghdad is the most challenging place to reside, thanks to waves of sectarian violence sweeping through the city since the American-led invasion in 2003.
Damascus, five years into Syria’s bloody war, ranked six places above Baghdad, with Bangui in the Central African Republic, war-torn Yemen’s capital Sanaa, Haiti’s Port-au-Prince, Sudan’s Khartoum and Chad’s N’Djamena listed in between.