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3. Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand's largest and most populous city, Auckland, offers the best quality of life in the Asia-Pacific region, now for the second year in a row. It has been consistently placed within the top five best places to live in for the past six years.

Auckland is uniquely set between two harbors, with 11 extinct volcanoes and numerous islands making it the city with the world's largest boat ownership per person. Auckland is New Zealand's economic powerhouse - its 1.4 million people account for more than 30 percent of the country's population and contribute 35 percent to the country's GDP. Auckland is also home to the most educated people in the country, with nearly 37 percent of its working population holding a bachelor's degree or higher.

In March, the city launched a 30-year initiative called "The Auckland Plan" to make it the world's most livable city. The plan aims to tackle challenges in transport, housing, job creation and environment protection. However, the city has been impacted by the global economic slowdown. In the third quarter New Zealand's unemployment rate hit a 13-year high of 7.3 percent.

Geof Wilson | Getty Images