Vancouver, Canada |
Vancouver remains at the top of the ranking, of
the world's most liveable cities for the 5th straight year, while Melbourne
claimed second place from Vienna and Australian and Canadian cities dominated
the list's top 10 spots. The Economist Intelligence Unit says Vancouver's
position that can only have been cemented by the successful hosting of the 2010
winter Olympics and Paralympics, which provided a boost to the infrastructure
and culture and environment categories. Only petty crime presents any
difficulties for Vancouver, although this would be a typical shortfall of any
These advantages are shared with a number of
other cities in the survey, and the variation between surveys is minimal. Just
2.3 percentage points separate the top ten cities, where the only change in the
current survey is a slightly lower score for Vienna. As a result, Melbourne
rises to become the second highest ranked city.
Of the poorer scoring cities, only 11 cities
occupy the very bottom tier of liveability, where ratings fall below 50% and
most aspects of living are severely restricted. Africa and Asia account for all
11 cities, with violence, whether through crime, civil insurgency, terrorism or
war, playing a strong role. Although not in the bottom tier of cities, worsening
stability relating to violence has seen a 2.5 point fall in the liveability
score of Mexico City.
Harare (Zimbabwe) is the lowest-scoring city at
just 37.5%. Despite celebrating 30 years of independence in April 2010, the
situation remains challenging across all indicators. Despite hopes of elections
in 2011, stability and healthcare scores of just 25% and 20.8% respectively
highlight a bleak situation.
"Mid-sized cities in developed countries
with relatively low population densities tend to score well by having all the
cultural and infrastructural benefits on offer with fewer problems related to
crime or congestion," said Jon Copestake, editor of
the report, in a statement.
Pittsburgh was the top US city with 29th place -- just ahead of Honolulu --
while Los Angeles rose three places to 44th and New York retained its 56th
London moved up one place to 53rd while Paris came in at number 16.
The top Asian city was Osaka at number 12, tying Geneva, Switzerland and beating
out the Japanese capital of Tokyo, which came in at 18.
Hong Kong got a 31 rank but China's capital Beijing, got a lowly 72nd position.
Last year, Dublin, Ireland got a 26th rank in
Mercer's Quality of Life ranking of global cites;
The EIU assesses which locations around the world provide the
best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of
uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a
hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist
Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be
presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for
direct comparison between locations.
Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30
qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability;
healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor
in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or
intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the
judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative
indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number
of external data points.
The scores are then compiled and weighted to provide a score of
1–100, where 1 is considered intolerable and 100 is considered ideal. The
liveability rating is provided both as an overall score and as a score for each
category. To provide points of reference, the score is also given for each
category relative to New York and an overall position in the ranking of 140
cities is provided.
‘A Summary of the Liveability Ranking and Overview’
-- The Economist
Intelligence Unit, 21 February 2011.
Following is a list of the top 10 most liveable
cities as ranked by The Economist Intelligence Unit:
1. Vancouver, Canada
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Vienna, Austria
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Helsinki, Finland
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Perth, Australia
8. Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
The bottom 10 cities were:
1. Harare, Zimbabwe
2. Dhaka , Bangladesh
3. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
4. Lagos, Nigeria
5. Algiers , Algeria
6. Karachi, Pakistan
7. Douala, Cameroon
8. Tehran, Iran
9. Dakar, Senegal
10. Colombo, Sri Lanka