Every year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranks up cities around the world to establish the best, and worst, to live in.
The Global Liveability Index comprises 173 cities from around the world, scored across 5 categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. “Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories”, the report explains. “Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgement of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points.”
Our liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location and allows for direct comparison between locations.EIU
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a great impact of how liveable cities are, with quarantine and restrictions affecting not just healthcare systems, but also education and culture and environment. The lifting of these restrictions in most countries around the world at the beginning of the year has led to a 15-year high overall score in the index.
To account for Covid-19 related measures, EIU introduced 6 new indicators this year: stress on healthcare resources, restrictions on local sporting events, restrictions on theatre, restrictions on classic and modern music concerts, restrictions on restaurants, bars, coffee shops and nightclubs and restrictions on educational institutes.
1. Vienna, Austria – 98.4
Vienna is the returning champion this year, having taken first place 8 times in the past 10 years. The only category the city does not have a perfect score in is culture and environment, having only 93.5 points due to the relative lack of major sporting events.
2. Copenhagen, Denmark – 98.0
Copenhagen has also maintained its position from last year, with the rare occurrence of major sporting events being one of the reasons the city only has 95.4 points in culture and entertainment. The Danish capital however also lacks a few points in healthcare, with only 95.8 out of 100.
3. Melbourne, Australia – 97.7
Melbourne and Sydney’s improved healthcare scored compared to last year have bounced them in 3rd and 4th place respectively, after having moved up and down the ranking during the pandemic. Both cities have a stability score of only 95, the difference in ranking coming from culture and education, where Melbourne has a score of 95.8, while Sydney has 94.4 points.
4. Sydney, Australia – 97.4
Sydney has a perfect score for healthcare, education and infrastructure, but only 95 and 94.4 points for stability and culture and environment respectively.
5. Vancouver, Canada – 97.3
The end of the Covid-19 restrictions and therefor of the anti-vaccination protests, have increased the stability score for three Canadian cities that have climbed up among the top 10 since last year: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.
6. Zurich, Switzerland – 97.1
For Swiss cities, the higher, now perfect, education scores have bumped Zurich and Geneva up the list.
7. Calgary, Canada & Geneva, Switzerland – 96.8
Calgary has a perfect score in all categories, except culture and environment, where it only has 87.3 points.
Geneva on the other hand only has a perfect score in healthcare and education, but its high culture and environment score of 94.9 evens out the lower stability an infrastructure scores of 95 and 96.4 respectively.
8. Toronto, Canada – 96.5
Toronto has a perfect score for stability, healthcare and education, but 94.4 points for culture and environment and only 89.3 for infrastructure.
9. Osaka, Japan & Auckland, New Zealand – 96.0
Osaka jumped up in the top 10 thanks to the end of Covid-19 restriction giving a boost to its culture and environment sector, which scores 86.8. The city’s infrastructure only has a 96.5 score, with the remaining three categories having full points.
Auckland is the second highest climber in the ranking this year, having moved up 25 places compared to 2022. Unlike Osaka, Auckland only has a perfect score in education, but the higher culture and environment score of 97.9 evens out the lower stability, healthcare and infrastructure scores of 95, 95.8 and 92.9 respectively.
10. Damascus, Syria – 30.7
On the other end of the ranking, Damascus was named the least liveable city this year, seeing no improvement in its scores compared to 2022. The city’s stability has the lowest score of just 20 points our of 100, with healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure having 29.2, 40.5, 33.3 and 32.1 points respectively.