One of the best cities in the world for work-life balance, right in our back yard

16 March 2023

According to Forbes Advisor, Auckland has been named as the fifth-best city in the world for balancing work and life commitments. It is also the only non-European city to feature in the top 10.

The publication conducted a survey in which more than half of respondents (54%) said they would accept a lower paying job in exchange for a better work-life balance. The survey examined 128 major cities worldwide and ranked them out of 100, taking into account various factors, including gender equality, average working hours, and access to natural reserves.

Auckland received a work-life score of 62.7, making it the most desirable destination in the Southern Hemisphere. The Danish capital, Copenhagen, topped the index as the best city in the world for work-life balance, with Auckland coming second. The index showed that Auckland beat Copenhagen in terms of access to green spaces and daylight hours, as well as slightly more affordable housing. However, Copenhagen outperformed Auckland in nearly every other category, including having an unemployment rate of just 2.4% and an enviable workload of only 25.9 hours a week.

The other Scandinavian capitals, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Oslo, also ranked higher than Auckland. While Auckland performed well overall, it was let down by a Gender Inequality Index rating of 25, which was five times worse than the other top cities outside of the UK.

No US cities made it to the top work-life index due to several critical employment indices, and the highest ranking US city for work-life balance was Atlanta, which came in 52nd in the world. Finally, Abu Dhabi was the only city in the top 25 that was not in Europe or Australasia.


  1. Copenhagen, Denmark – scored 70.5
  2. Helsinki, Finland – scored 65.1
  3. Stockholm, Sweden – scored 64.8
  4. Oslo, Norway – scored 63.2
  5. Auckland, New Zealand – scored 62.7
  6. Gothenburg, Sweden – scored 60.7
  7. Reykjavik, Iceland – scored 58.7
  8. Vienna, Switzerland – scored 58.5
  9. Edinburgh, Scotland – scored 57.1
  10. Belfast, Northern Ireland – scored 57
  11. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
  12. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  13. Zurich, Switzerland
  14. Prague, Czech Republic
  15. Manchester, England
  16. Glasgow, Scotland
  17. Brisbane, Australia
  18. Melbourne, Australia
  19. Dublin, Ireland
  20. Rotterdam, Netherlands
  21. Madrid, Spain
  22. Sydney, Australia
  23. Barcelona, Spain
  24. Valencia, Spain
  25. Abu Dhabi, UAE


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