After seven years of being ranked the most liveable city in the world, Melbourne was usurped in this year’s Global Liveability Index from The Economist.
Vienna came out on top as the world’s most liveable city, as judged on qualities like stability, healthcare, culture, education and infrastructure. The Austrian capital ranked second in last year’s survey.
But Australia still has a strong claim to the title of the world’s most liveable country. In addition to Melbourne in the second spot, both Sydney and Adelaide also ranked in the top 10 (in fifth and 10th, respectively). Another strong contender was Canada, with three of its cities in the top 10: Calgary (4), Vancouver (6) and Toronto (7).
Japan has two cities in rank among the top 10 — Osaka in third place and Tokyo in seventh. Rounding out the list is Copenhagen in ninth place.
Metropolitan life in the U.S. is unliveable compared to the rest of the world. The top-ranked American city is Honolulu, with a global ranking of 23. The second-best American city is Pittsburgh, coming in at 32nd place on a global scale.
According to the survey, major finance cities like London and New York City are victims of their own success. Because of overcrowded public transit, higher levels of crime, and higher costs of living, the cities are not as liveable as their glamorous reputations may suggest.
At the bottom end of the survey were Damascus, Syria and Dhaka, Bangladesh. The cities ranked poorly in almost all categories, but especially so in stability and infrastructure. The study attributed this to civil war, terrorism and crime.
The survey was comprised of 140 major cities around the world.