World's most liveable cities

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The world's most liveable cities is an informal name given to any list of cities as they rank on an annual survey of living conditions. Countries with cities commonly ranked in the top ten include Austria, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Canada. Three examples of the surveys are Monocle's "Most Liveable Cities Index", the Economist Intelligence Unit's "Liveability Ranking and Overview", and "Mercer Quality of Living Survey". Liveability rankings are designed for use by employers assigning hardship allowances as part of job relocation. There have been numerous arguments over the expansion of liveability rankings for other purposes. However, the annual city rankings attract extensive media coverage, and are a popular topic of discussion. However, the rankings are not used for economic forecasting or government policy.[1] The OECD Better Life Index however, factors in socio-economic comparisons of the livability of cities across the world.[2]

Monocle's Quality of Life Survey[edit]

Monocle's Quality of Life Survey 2014[3]
City Country
1 Copenhagen  Denmark
2 Tokyo  Japan
3 Melbourne  Australia
4 Stockholm  Sweden
5 Helsinki  Finland
6 Vienna  Austria
7 Zürich   Switzerland
8 Munich  Germany
9 Kyoto  Japan
10 Fukuoka  Japan
11 Sydney  Australia
12 Auckland  New Zealand
13 Hong Kong  Hong Kong
14 Berlin  Germany
15 Vancouver  Canada
16 Singapore  Singapore
17 Madrid  Spain
18 Paris  France
19 Amsterdam  Netherlands
20 Hamburg  Germany
21 Barcelona  Spain
22 Lisbon  Portugal
23 Portland  USA
24 Oslo  Norway
25 Brisbane  Australia
Copenhagen, Denmark

Since 2006, the lifestyle magazine Monocle has published an annual list of liveable cities. The list in 2008 was named "The Most Liveable Cities Index" and presented 25 top locations for quality of life.

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 EIU's Global Liveability Ranking[edit]

The EIU's Global Liveability Ranking August 2014
City Country Overall rating[4]
1 Melbourne  Australia 97.7
2 Vienna  Austria 97.4
3 Vancouver  Canada 97.3
4 Toronto  Canada 97.2
5 Adelaide  Australia 96.6
5 Calgary  Canada 96.6
7 Sydney  Australia 96.1
8 Helsinki  Finland 96.0
9 Perth  Australia 95.9
10 Auckland  New Zealand 95.7
11 Zurich   Switzerland
12 Geneva   Switzerland
13 Osaka  Japan
14 Hamburg  Germany
15 Stockholm  Sweden
16 Montreal  Canada
17 Paris  France
18 Frankfurt  Germany
19 Tokyo  Japan
20 Brisbane  Australia
Melbourne, Australia was ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the World's most liveable city since 2011.

The Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) most recent liveability ranking shows cities in Australia, Canada, 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 the cost of living as a factor in 'liveability'. The Economist Intelligence Unit has been criticised by the New York Times for being overly anglocentric, stating that "The Economist clearly equates livability with speaking English."[5]  The August 2014 report placed Melbourne, Australia as the most liveable city in the world, with Vienna, Austria taking second place, followed by Vancouver, Canada. Other Australian cities also ranked highly in the survey, with Adelaide continuing to hold equal 5th position (in company with Calgary in Canada). Sydney was at 7th position and Perth at 9th. A third Canadian city, Toronto was among the top ten, holding the 4th spot. Toronto is the largest city by population among the top ten cities, with nearly six million inhabitants within its metropolitan area. The Top 10 ranking order remains unchanged compared with 2012.[6] Although Asian cities do not appear in the top 10, Osaka (Osaka Prefecture), Japan is ranked as Asia's most liveable city. At the bottom end of the scale, the 2013 report lists Damascus (Syria) as worst, followed by Tehran (Iran), Douala (Cameroon), Tripoli (Libya), Karachi (Pakistan), Algiers (Algeria), Harare (Zimbabwe), Lagos (Nigeria), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) and Dhaka (Bangladesh).

Mercer Quality of Living Survey[edit]

Mercer's Quality of Living 2014[7]
City Country
1 Vienna  Austria
2 Zürich   Switzerland
3 Auckland  New Zealand
4 Munich  Germany
5 Vancouver  Canada
6 Düsseldorf  Germany
7 Frankfurt  Germany
8 Geneva   Switzerland
9 Copenhagen  Denmark
10 Bern   Switzerland
Vienna, Austria

American global human resource and related financial services consulting firm Mercer releases annually the Quality of Living Survey, comparing 221 cities based on 39 criteria. New York City 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.

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

See also[edit]