Cities and countries are very often compared to one another, awarded a rating and ranked accordingly. Surveys setting out cost of living and various other factors are published. Along with simple economic indexes covering all aspects of life ( food, clothing, transportation, education etc.) surveys with more explicit indicators related to urban quality of life are published.

They include ratings and rankings corresponding not only to the cost of living but also to job prospects, health care, recreation, climate and other features.

The resulting scores permit us to rank cities according one of these features and by adding together two or more of these scores we can obtain rankings on the basis of two or more factors. Standardization of scoring results in different rankings. But even by simply adding together the scores, we also obtain varius results, the final ranking depending on the number and kind of factors into account.

Our objective is to present the multifaceted statistical reality of surveys as opposed to the social geographer's view. Attention will be focused on a number of recent publications which will be presented in detail, while varying factors considered so as to highlighit certain concealed aspects of the cities concerned.

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