World's most livable cities

World's most livable cities

The world's most liveable cities is an informal name given to any list of cities as they rank on a reputable annual survey of living conditions. Two examples are the Mercer Quality of Living Survey and The Economist's World's Most Livable Cities (using data from Mercer as well).

Liveability rankings are designed for use by employers assigning hardship allowances as part of job relocation.[1] There have been numerous arguments over the expansion of livability rankings for other purposes.[2][3][4][5] However, the annual city rankings attract extensive media coverage, are a popular topic of discussion and have attracted the attention of even the White House.[6]


World's Most Liveable Cities

The Economist's World's Most Liveable Cities 2011 (Top 10)[7]
City Country Rating
1 Melbourne  Australia 97.5
2 Vienna  Austria 97.4
3 Vancouver  Canada 97.3
4 Toronto  Canada 97.2
5 Calgary  Canada 96.6
6 Sydney  Australia 96.1
7 Helsinki  Finland 96.0
8 Perth  Australia 95.9
9 Adelaide  Australia 95.9
10 Auckland  New Zealand 95.7
The city of Melbourne in Australia was ranked as the world's most livable city in 2011[8]

The Economist Intelligence Unit's livability also uses data from the Mercer consulting group and shows cities in Canada, Australia, Austria, Finland and New Zealand as the ideal destinations, thanks to a widespread availability of goods and services, low personal risk, and an effective infrastructure. It does not take into account climate or the cost of living as a factor in 'livability'[citation needed]. The Economist Intelligence Unit has been criticized by the New York Times for being overly anglocentric, stating that "The Economist clearly equates livability with speaking English."[9]

The August 2011 report placed Melbourne, Australia as the most livable city in the world, with Vienna, Austria taking second place, followed by Vancouver, Canada. [10] There was controversy related to the lowering of Vancouver's rating due to the traffic congestion on Highway 1, as the congestion was located 90 kilometers away from the city and on Vancouver Island. The highway referenced serves Victoria, B.C. and Nanaimo, B.C.

Other Canadian cities also ranked highly in the survey, with Toronto and Calgary holding the 4th and 5th positions, respectively. Three other Australian cities, Sydney at 6th and Perth and Adelaide tied at 8th, were ranked among the top ten.

The top Asian city was Osaka, Japan at number 12, tying with Geneva, Switzerland and beating the Japanese capital of Tokyo, which placed 18th.[11]

Paris was ranked number 16 and London moved up one place to 53rd.

Honolulu at 26th tops the American cities in the list, just ahead of Pittsburgh, ranked 29th, Los Angeles (which rose to) 44th, and New York in 56th place.

Generally African and South Asian cities were ranked lower in the EIU's rankings. Harare, Zimbabwe was rated the least liveable city in the world.

Quality of living survey

Mercer 2010 Quality of Living Survey[12]
City Country Rating
1 Vienna  Austria 108.6
2 Zurich  Switzerland 108
3 Geneva  Switzerland 107.9
4 Auckland  New Zealand 107.4
Vancouver  Canada 107.4
6 Düsseldorf  Germany 107.2
7 Frankfurt  Germany 107
Munich  Germany 107
9 Bern  Switzerland 106.5
10 Sydney  Australia 106.3

The Mercer Quality of Living Survey is released annually, comparing 221 cities based on 39 criteria. New York is given a baseline score of 100 and other cities are rated in comparison. Important criteria are safety, education, hygiene, health care, culture, environment, recreation, political-economic stability and public transportation.[13]

The list helps multi-national companies decide where to open offices or plants, and how much to pay employees.

In the 2010 list of cities, the top of the list is dominated by Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand; and Switzerland and Germany both have 3 cities in the top 10. The first entries from other countries are Singapore at 22, the USA at 31, and Japan at 37. Baghdad was at the bottom of the list. Of the 25 cities at the bottom, 15 are in Africa. Compared to lists for previous years, cities in South Asia (mainly India), East Asia (mainly China), the Middle East and Eastern Europe are clearly on the rise.

Mercer also has a 'Personal Safety' list, which is also dominated by EU and Swiss cities: the top five are Luxembourg, Bern, Geneva, Helsinki and Zurich.

2010 year’s ranking also identifies the cities with the best eco-ranking based on water availability and drinkability, waste removal, quality of sewage systems, air pollution and traffic congestion. Calgary is at the top of this index (score 145.7), followed by Honolulu in second place (score 145.1) and Ottawa and Helsinki in joint third (score 139.9). Wellington in New Zealand (5), Minneapolis (6), Adelaide (7) and Copenhagen fill the next four slots, while Kobe, Oslo and Stockholm share ninth place. Port-au-Prince in Haiti ranks at the bottom of this table with a score of only 27.8.[14]

Most Liveable Cities Index

Monocle's Most Livable Cities Index 2011
City Country 2010
1 Helsinki  Finland (05)
2 Zurich  Switzerland (03)
3 Copenhagen  Denmark (02)
4 Munich  Germany (01)
5 Melbourne  Australia (09)
6 Vienna  Austria (08)
7 Sydney  Australia (12)
8 Berlin  Germany (11)
9 Tokyo  Japan (04)
10 Madrid  Spain (10)

Since 2007 the lifestyle magazine Monocle publishes an annual list of liveable cities. The list in 2009 was named "The Most Liveable Cities Index" and presented 25 top locations for quality of life. The winning city in 2009 was Zurich, Switzerland and the 2010 winner was Munich, Germany.

Important criteria in this survey are safety/crime, international connectivity, climate/sunshine, quality of architecture, public transportation, tolerance, environmental issues and access to nature, urban design, business conditions, pro-active policy developments and medical care.

The 2011 rankings continued thus: Stockholm (11), Paris (12), Auckland (13), Barcelona (14), Singapore (15), Fukuoka (16), Hong Kong (17), Portland (18), Honolulu (19), Vancouver (20), Kyoto (21), Hamburg (22), Lisbon (23), Montréal (24) and Seattle (25).

See also


  1. ^ Business travel Gulliver. "Liveability rankings: It's Vancouver, again". The Economist. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  2. ^ Fisher, Marc. "Most Livable City: Bethesda? - Raw Fisher". Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Pink Slip: We're Number 9! Worcester named 9th most livable city in the US". 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  4. ^  Print!  Email! Author: 2thinknow (2010-07-07). "City rankings - Better cities rankings than livability rankings alone | Latest News | Innovation Cities Program - Analyst Reports, Index Rankings, Benchmarking Data, Workshops". Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  5. ^ 11:54 AM. "Yawn-Forbes says Pittsburgh is the most livable city (Mexico: 2010, college) - Pennsylvania (PA) - City-Data Forum". Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Business travel Gulliver. "Liveability ranking: Where the livin' is easiest". The Economist. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  8. ^ Melbourne Tops Livability Survey
  9. ^ The Best Place to Live? 2010/05/27 New York Times
  10. ^ August 2011
  11. ^ "World's most liveable cities 2011 | Melbourne beats Sydney". 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  12. ^ "News Release: 2010 Mercer Quality of Living survey". 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  13. ^ Olympics host Vancouver ranked world's most liveable city accessed 12 February 2010
  14. ^ Mercer's 2010 Quality of Living survey highlights - Global

External links

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