Dublin slumps in list of best cities due to pandemic

Auckland rated most liveable city globally with Dublin falling 22 places in rankings

Dublin is ranked in 51st place overall in the latest index. Photograph: Istock

Dublin is ranked in 51st place overall in the latest index. Photograph: Istock


Dublin is one of the biggest movers downwards in a new ranking of the best cities to live in, falling 22 places over the last year due to the Covid crisis.

The Irish capital is ranked as the fifth biggest faller in the latest ranking of the most liveable cities in the world behind Germany’s Hamburg, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf, and the Czech Republic capital, Prague.

The Global Liveability Index, which has been compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranks 140 cities across a number of areas, including healthcare, culture and environment, stability, education and infrastructure.

Dublin is ranked in 51st place overall in the latest index, which has seen widespread changes due to the impact of the coronavirus impact. Vienna in Austria, which was last year ranked as the most liveable city, fell out of the top 10 this time out. It and other major urban centres in Europe and North America were replaced by cities in which the Covid crisis has been better managed.

Six of the top 10 cities are in New Zealand and Australia where tight border controls have allowed residents to live relatively normal lives. By contrast, European and Canadian cites fell down the rankings having battled a second wave of the pandemic by closing down. The report’s authors said much of the downward movement in the rankings was due to the heightened stress on healthcare resources during the second wave.

Auckland in New Zealand took the top spot in the 2021 rankings owning to the city’s ability to contain the pandemic more quickly and therefore lift restrictions earlier. Osaka was in second place, followed by Adelaide (Australia), Wellington (New Zealand) and Tokyo (Japan). Zurich and Geneva, both in Switzerland, are the only European cities to make the top 10.

Several US cities surged in the rankings due to the lifting of restrictions. Honolulu (Hawaii) was the biggest mover up the rankings, followed by Houston (US), Madrid (Spain), Miami (US) and Barcelona (Spain).

The least liveable cities were Damascus (Syria), Lagos (Nigeria), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Algiers (Algeria).