This is the world’s most liveable city

Austrian capital wins for second year running

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 04 September 2019 13:28 BST

Vienna has been named the most liveable city in the world for the second year running.

The Austrian capital achieved near perfect scores across all categories in the new liveability index, compiled by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

European cities performed well, grabbing eight of the top 20 spots, while in the top 10 Australia and Canada both claimed three spots each. Two of the remaining top 10 spots are in Japan.

London ranked 48th, ahead of New York (58th) but well behind Paris (25th).

The index assesses 140 cities around the world, rating them across five categories – stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure – to come up with an overall score.

Vienna was followed by Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Osaka in Japan and Canada’s Calgary.

At the other end of the spectrum, Damascus in Syria was named the least liveable city, with a score of just 30.7 out of 100.

It was swiftly followed by Lagos in Nigeria, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Tripoli in Libya.

The report also lists the most improved cities, which include Moscow, Russia; Belgrade, Serbia; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Kiev, Ukraine.

Cities whose liveability ranking has fallen the most over the last five years include Detroit in the US and Caracas in Venezuela.

For the first year, the effects of climate change are impacting liveability, according to the report.

“A slew of cities in emerging markets that are among the most exposed to the effects of climate change have seen their scores downgraded,” it reads. These include New Delhi in India, which suffers from poor air quality, Cairo in Egypt and Dhaka in Bangladesh.

It continues: “A lack of a concerted global effort to tackle climate change risks further downward revisions in these scores, threatening to offset improvements in the other categories, such as education and infrastructure, which remain on a broadly upward trend.”

Agathe Demarais, The EIU's global forecasting director, says of the results: “Western Europe and North America continue to be the most liveable regions in the world, and cities in these regions remain well placed in the overall rankings. Western Europe is home to the top-scoring city, Vienna, hosts 16 of the top 30 and 26 of the 68 that record scores of 80 or higher.

“In general, cities in northern Europe score highly, while those in southern Europe achieve poorer scores by comparison, hampered by factors such as higher crime rates and slightly weaker infrastructure scores.

“The regional average ratings for western Europe and North America both exceed 90, which is significantly higher than the next-best regional average – 73 for Asia and Australasia.”

Top 10 most liveable cities

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Melbourne, Australia
  3. Sydney, Australia
  4. Osaka, Japan
  5. Calgary, Canada
  6. Vancouver, Canada
  7. Toronto, Canada
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Adelaide, Australia

Top 10 least liveable cities

  1. Damascus, Syria
  2. Lagos, Nigeria
  3. Dhaka, Bangladesh
  4. Tripoli, Libya
  5. Karachi, Pakistan
  6. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  7. Harare, Zimbabwe
  8. Douala, Cameroon
  9. Algiers, Algeria
  10. Caracas, Venezuela

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