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 50 include United States, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.[1] 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". Numbeo has the largest statistics and survey data based on cities and countries.[2] Liveability rankings are designed for use by employers assigning hardship allowances as part of job relocation, however the usefulness of using such a ranking to determine salary packaging remains unclear. There have been numerous arguments over the expansion of liveability rankings for other purposes, for example to sell stories to magazines and newspapers. 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.[3] The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index factors in socioeconomic comparisons of the livability of cities across the world[3]

Monocle's Quality of Life Survey[edit]

Tokyo was ranked highest by Monocle in 2015

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 transport, tolerance, environmental issues and access to nature, urban design, business conditions, pro-active policy developments and medical care.

The 2015 Monocle Survey determined the world's most liveable city is Tokyo, and a total of three Japanese cities were on the list; the two most populous Australian cities were in the top 5.[4][5] Only two cities in the Western Hemisphere made the Monocle list in 2015.

The EIU's Liveability Ranking[edit]

Melbourne has been 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."[6]

Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking[edit]

Vienna was top ranked in the 2015 Mercer Quality of Living Survey

American global human resource and related financial services consulting firm Mercer annually releases its Mercer 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, public transport and access to goods and services. The list is intended to help multinational companies decide where to open offices or plants, and how much to pay employees.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2015 quality of living survey". Mercer. 4 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Numbeo official website
  3. ^ a b "Better Life Index". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  4. ^ These Are the World's Most Livable Cities for 2015 Published: 6/12/2015
  5. ^ Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey Is an Alternative Top Destinations for 2015 Published: 2015/06/12
  6. ^ Greenway, H.D.S. (26 May 2010). "The Best Place to Live?". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2015.