World's 'most liveable' cities revealed

Five out of 20 top cities in Economist’s global liveability survey are in Australia

Melbourne has topped The Economist’s most liveable city index for a record seventh consecutive time. Photograph: Getty Images

Melbourne has topped The Economist’s most liveable city index for a record seventh consecutive time. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Melbourne has been declared the most liveable city in the world for the seventh year running by The Economist’s annual global liveability survey.

The Economist’s top 10 cities to live in:

1. Melbourne
2. Vienna
3. Vancouver
4. Toronto
5. Calgary
6. Adelaide
7. Perth
8. Auckland
9. Helsinki
10. Hamburg.

The 10 least liveable cities in reverse order are: Kiev, Douala, Harare, Karachi, Algiers, Port Moresby, Dhaka, Tripoli, Lagos, Damascus.

Dublin is in 43rd place, up three slots in the rankings in the last five years.

It is the first time in the survey’s 15-year history that a city has held the number one rank in its own right for seven consecutive years. Vancouver, with which Melbourne shared the top-ranked spot from 2002 to 2004 and then toppled in 2011, held the title for six years.

The Austrian capital Vienna is the second most liveable city in the world according to The Economist. Photograph: Getty Images
The Austrian capital Vienna is the second most liveable city in the world according to The Economist. Photograph: Getty Images

The annual survey assesses 140 cities and ranks them according to their stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Only “cities or business centres that people might want to live in or visit”, as determined by the survey’s authors, are included, so cities such as Kabul and Baghdad are left off the list.

Damascus, ranked the least-liveable city because of civil war in Syria, and Tripoli, ranked the third least-liveable city, are included because “they were deemed relatively stable just a few years ago”.

All five Australian cities included in the survey are ranked inside the top 20: Adelaide at equal fifth place with Calgary in Canada; Perth ranked seventh; Sydney 11th, and Brisbane 16th. Just 3.3 percentage points separate the cities.

Auckland, Helsinki and Hamburg rounded out the top 10.

Stability concerns, including the 2014 Lindt cafe siege, caused Sydney to drop four places, from seventh to 11th, last year. Manchester and Stockholm similarly fell in the rankings.

Security concerns, including the refugee crisis, the mounting terrorist threat and conflicts in the Middle East, eastern Europe and Africa, caused the average global security score to drop two percentage points since 2012.

According to the 2017 report, cities that score best “tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. These can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”

Cities in the US fared worse than Canada, which had three cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary – in the third to fifth spot respectively. The main reason for the difference between the neighbouring countries was population density and security concerns.

Vancouver just pips sister city Toronto to third place in the most liveable cities rankings. Photograph: Getty Images
Vancouver just pips sister city Toronto to third place in the most liveable cities rankings. Photograph: Getty Images

“Even a relatively stable country such as the US has seen mounting civil unrest linked to the Black Lives Matter movement and the policies proposed by the 45th US president, Donald Trump, ” the report said.

Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby, was one of 12 cities to improve its ranking in 2017 and is now ranked 136th.

Guardian Service

Do you live in the world's 'most liveable' city, Melbourne? We'd like to hear from readers about what makes it such a great place, or any drawbacks. Email abroad@irishtimes.com to share your experiences and opinions on the city (max 300 words). A selection may be published online. Thank you.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.