World’s most livable cities unveiled

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest ranking of the World’s most Livable Cities has been unveiled, with Melbourne topping the list, ahead of Vienna and Vancouver. The South African cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria were ranked 92nd and 96th respectively, with Johannesburg interestingly enough, tied with Brazilian cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. However, my recent visit to Brazil, does make me question the individual factors which have not placed Rio de Janeiro ahead of its Brazilian counterpart. With more information and data unavailable, I am a bit skeptical.

Cape Town has not been included the sample of cities which were surveyed, but it is probable that it would remain quite close to Johannesburg and Pretoria, and one might even suggest that it could be ahead of both of those cities.

The major theme however is the dominance of the Australian cities. Melbourne (1st), Adelaide (5th), Sydney (7th), Perth (9th) and Brisbane (20th) are all ranked within the top 20 cities, which suggests that Australia (along with Auckland at 10th) may be holding the secret ingredients to building more livable cities, and that an immediate study tour should be embarked upon by cities. Or not?

London, the successful host of the 2012 Olympic Games, drops in the rankings from 53rd to 55th, largely as a result of the London Riots, and civil unrest, while past Olympic host cities Sydney (7th), Barcelona (33rd), Athens (66th) , Beijing (72nd) finding themselves on either side of the British capital.

Another interesting observation is the ranking of Copenhagen, 22nd on the list, while the Monocle Top 25 Quality of Life survey ranked the city 3rd.

The ranking scores 140 cities from 0-100 on 30 factors spread across five areas: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. These numbers are then weighted and combined to produce an overall figure. The cities at the top of the table are separated by tiny differences, with just 0.3 percentage points between first and fourth. (Source: The Economist blog)

Most liveable cities:

1. Melbourne 97.5

2. Vienna 97.4

3. Vancouver 97.3

4. Toronto 97.2

5=. Calgary 96.6

5=. Adelaide 96.6

7. Sydney 96.1

8. Helsinki 96.0

9. Perth 95.9

10. Auckland 95.7

For the full list visit Bloomberg Business Week

Image courtesy of  mugley at

There are 8 comments

  1. Dale F

    I guess the Monocle Top 25 are aimed at higher-income/class citizens while this Economist Liveable Cities are for middle-income citizens? What are your views?

  2. Mark

    I think Dale F is on to something. Monocle weights ease of international travel quite heavily and has a bit of fetish for fancy department stores.

  3. Gary

    Methinks the stability element is rated a tad too highly. Canada and Australia dominate – and these are a couple of the most highly regulated societies. Boredom is NOT liveable.

    1. Matthew

      Speaking as a Canadain living in Vancouver……..I gotta agree with you! Argh! Get me out of this boring city! For serious man, it is driving me crazy….

      1. Free

        Yeah I agree. Get me the hell out of Melbourne! Nothing makes me feel more alive than a world class murder rate. C’mon guys get real. I love CT and get there as often as I can. But I come home where truth be told life is pretty easy. Ask those in Cape flats or the townships whether CT is a liveable city.

Comments are closed.