Melbourne, Vienna, Vancouver ranked top three most livable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Ranking, which scores 140 cities on five lifestyle categories, six of the top 10 livable cities in the world are in Australia and Canada. Melbourne ranked first, Vienna was second and Vancouver third, with Toronto, Calgary, Adelaide and Perth rounding up the top seven, though the scores differentiating the quality of life in the top 15 to 20 cities were marginal.
Cities were ranked on categories including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure, but cost of living wasn’t taken into account. What the top ranked cities had in common was being situated in relatively wealthy countries with good health and education systems, good quality infrastructure and they tended to be medium-sized, and had low population densities. For example, the report pointed out the population densities in Australia and Canada are 3.1 and 3.9 people per square kilometer. Simon Baptist, chief economist at the EIU, told CNBC by phone that these cities were able to provide the necessary amenities needed for a higher standard of living, without suffering from congestion.
Some cities are victims of their own success Larger cities sometimes suffered in the rankings. The report noted that global business centers such as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo may be considered prestigious business and finance hubs, with a wealth of recreational activity, but they also suffered from higher crime rates, congestion and public transportation problems. “It brings down their environment scores and their scores for transport,” said Baptist. In Asia, major regional hubs Hong Kong and Singapore climbed the ranks by a few places to 43rd and 46th, respectively. Neither city saw an improvement in their scores and their advances were largely due to declines in livability in other cities.