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Melbourne continues to be the world's most liveable city

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

melbourne

Melbourne, Australia has topped The Economist's liveability rankings for a fifth consecutive year. The latest findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking reflect a marked increase in global instability over the last 12 months. The ranking, which provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide, shows that since 2010 average liveability across the world has fallen by 1%, led by a 2.2% fall in the score for stability and safety.

While this may seem marginal, it highlights that 57 of the cities surveyed have seen declines in liveability over the last five years. Incidences of terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia have been compounded by civil unrest in the US and ongoing conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Libya.

On the other hand, those cities moving up the ranking are largely in countries that have enjoyed periods of relative stability following falls in liveability. Chinese cities, for example, have seen scores improve after a sustained period of civil stability since 2012, when a number of protests and riots, most notably driven by anti-Japanese sentiment, brought scores down.

Over five years 89 of the 140 cities surveyed have seen some change in overall liveability scores. Of these cities, 57 have seen declines in liveability. Three cities in particular, Tripoli, Kiev and Damascus, have seen significant declines of 21.9, 25.8 and 27 percentage points respectively, illustrating that conflict is, unsurprisingly, the key factor in undermining wider liveability.

Although the most liveable cities in the world remain largely unchanged, there has been movement within the top tier of liveability. Of the 65 cities with scores of 80 or more, 20 have seen a change in score in the past 12 months. As global instability grows, these movements have been overwhelmingly negative, with only Honolulu in the US and Warsaw in Poland registering rises.

North American cities have largely seen declines. Part of this stems from unrest related to a number of high-profile deaths of black people in police custody, but there have also been escalations in crime rates in some locations, coupled with a number of incidences of religious or politically motivated attacks.

Seven of the top ten scoring cities are in Australia and Canada, with population densities of 2.88 and 3.40 people per sq km respectively. Elsewhere in the top ten, Finland and New Zealand both have densities of 16 people per sq km. These compare with a global (land) average of 45.65 and a US average of 32. Austria bucks this trend with a density of 100 people per sq km. However, Vienna’s population of 1.7m people is relatively small compared with the urban centres of New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.

Ten of the best-the most improved liveability scores over five years
City Country Rank (out of 140) Overall Rating (100=ideal) Five year score movement
Harare Zimbabwe 133 42.6 5.1
Kathmandu Nepal 124 51 3.9
Dubai UAE 75 74.7 3.4
Warsaw Poland 64 80.7 2.5
Kuwait City Kuwait 83 72.1 2.5
Honolulu US 19 94.1 2.0
Beijing China 69 76.2 1.9
Bratislava Slovakia 63 81.5 1.7
Baku Azerbaijan 103 62.3 1.6
Nairobi Kenya 120 53.1 1.5
         
Ten of the worst-the biggest falls in liveability scores over five years
City Country Rank (out of 140) Overall Rating (100=ideal) Five year score movement
Damascus Syria 140 29.3 -27
Kiev Ukraine 132 43.4 -25.8
Tripoli Libya 136 40.0 -21.9
Tunis Tunisia 108 59.8 -6.6
Athens Greece 72 75.3 -5.9
Detroit US 57 85.0 -5.7
Moscow Russia 81 72.8 -5.6
Cairo Egypt 121 53.0 -4.9
Bahrain Bahrain 92 68.8 -4.6
St Petersburg Russia 77 74.1 -4.4
         
The five most liveable  
City Country Rank (out of 140) Overall Rating (100=ideal)  
Australia Melbourne 1 97.5  
Austria Vienna 2 97.4  
Canada Vancouver 3 97.3  
Canada Toronto 4 97.2  
Australia Adelaide 5 96.6  
Canada Calgary 5 96.6  
         
The five least liveable  
City Country Rank (out of 140) Overall Rating (100=ideal)  
Libya Tripoli 136 40  
Nigeria Lagos 137 39.7  
PNG Port Moresby 138 38.9  
Bangladesh Dhaka 139 38.7  
Syria Damascus 140 29.3  

Melbourne has topped The Economist's liveability rankings for a fifth consecutive year. The latest findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking reflect a marked increase in global instability over the last 12 months. The ranking, which provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide, shows that since 2010 average liveability across the world has fallen by 1%, led by a 2.2% fall in the score for stability and safety.

While this may seem marginal, it highlights that 57 of the cities surveyed have seen declines in liveability over the last five years. Incidences of terrorist shootings in France and Tunisia have been compounded by civil unrest in the US and ongoing conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Libya.

On the other hand, those cities moving up the ranking are largely in countries that have enjoyed periods of relative stability following falls in liveability. Chinese cities, for example, have seen scores improve after a sustained period of civil stability since 2012, when a number of protests and riots, most notably driven by anti-Japanese sentiment, brought scores down.

Over five years 89 of the 140 cities surveyed have seen some change in overall liveability scores. Of these cities, 57 have seen declines in liveability. Three cities in particular, Tripoli, Kiev and Damascus, have seen significant declines of 21.9, 25.8 and 27 percentage points respectively, illustrating that conflict is, unsurprisingly, the key factor in undermining wider liveability.

Although the most liveable cities in the world remain largely unchanged, there has been movement within the top tier of liveability. Of the 65 cities with scores of 80 or more, 20 have seen a change in score in the past 12 months. As global instability grows, these movements have been overwhelmingly negative, with only Honolulu in the US and Warsaw in Poland registering rises.

North American cities have largely seen declines. Part of this stems from unrest related to a number of high-profile deaths of black people in police custody, but there have also been escalations in crime rates in some locations, coupled with a number of incidences of religious or politically motivated attacks.

Seven of the top ten scoring cities are in Australia and Canada, with population densities of 2.88 and 3.40 people per sq km respectively. Elsewhere in the top ten, Finland and New Zealand both have densities of 16 people per sq km. These compare with a global (land) average of 45.65 and a US average of 32. Austria bucks this trend with a density of 100 people per sq km. However, Vienna’s population of 1.7m people is relatively small compared with the urban centres of New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.

Ten of the best-the most improved liveability scores over five years

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

Five year score movement

Harare

Zimbabwe

133

42.6

5.1

Kathmandu

Nepal

124

51

3.9

Dubai

UAE

75

74.7

3.4

Warsaw

Poland

64

80.7

2.5

Kuwait City

Kuwait

83

72.1

2.5

Honolulu

US

19

94.1

2.0

Beijing

China

69

76.2

1.9

Bratislava

Slovakia

63

81.5

1.7

Baku

Azerbaijan

103

62.3

1.6

Nairobi

Kenya

120

53.1

1.5

         

Ten of the worst-the biggest falls in liveability scores over five years

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

Five year score movement

Damascus

Syria

140

29.3

-27

Kiev

Ukraine

132

43.4

-25.8

Tripoli

Libya

136

40.0

-21.9

Tunis

Tunisia

108

59.8

-6.6

Athens

Greece

72

75.3

-5.9

Detroit

US

57

85.0

-5.7

Moscow

Russia

81

72.8

-5.6

Cairo

Egypt

121

53.0

-4.9

Bahrain

Bahrain

92

68.8

-4.6

St Petersburg

Russia

77

74.1

-4.4

         

The five most liveable

 

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

 

Australia

Melbourne

1

97.5

 

Austria

Vienna

2

97.4

 

Canada

Vancouver

3

97.3

 

Canada

Toronto

4

97.2

 

Australia

Adelaide

5

96.6

 

Canada

Calgary

5

96.6

 
         

The five least liveable

 

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

 

Libya

Tripoli

136

40

 

Nigeria

Lagos

137

39.7

 

PNG Port

Moresby

138

38.9

 

Bangladesh

Dhaka

139

38.7

 

Syria

Damascus

140

29.3

 

 

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