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 Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, 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". Numbeo is largest statistics and survey data base on cities and countries.[1] 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.[2] The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index factors in socioeconomic comparisons of the livability of cities across the world.[2]

The EIU's Liveability Ranking[edit]

The EIU's Liveability Ranking August 2015
City Country Overall rating[3]
1 Melbourne  Australia 97.5
2 Vienna  Austria 97.4
3 Vancouver  Canada 97.3
4 Toronto  Canada 97.2
5 Calgary  Canada 96.6
5 Adelaide  Australia 96.6
7 Sydney  Australia 96.1
8 Perth  Australia 95.9
9 Auckland  New Zealand 95.7
10 Helsinki  Finland 95.6
10 Zürich   Switzerland 95.6
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."[4] The August 2015 report placed Melbourne, Australia, as the most liveable city in the world with Vienna taking second place, followed by Vancouver. 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 8th. 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.

Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking[edit]

Mercer's 2015 Quality of Living Rankings[5]
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 Sydney  Australia
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 transport.

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

Monocle's Quality of Life Survey[edit]

Monocle's Quality of Life Survey 2015[6]
City Country
1 Tokyo  Japan
2 Vienna  Austria
3 Berlin  Germany
4 Melbourne  Australia
5 Sydney  Australia
6 Stockholm  Sweden
7 Vancouver  Canada
8 Helsinki  Finland
9 Munich  Germany
10 Zürich   Switzerland
10 Copenhagen  Denmark
12 Fukuoka  Japan
13 Singapore  Singapore
14 Kyoto  Japan
15 Paris  France
16 Madrid  Spain
17 Auckland  New Zealand
18 Lisbon  Portugal
19 Hong Kong  Hong Kong
20 Amsterdam  Netherlands
21 Hamburg  Germany
22 Geneva   Switzerland
23 Oslo  Norway
24 Barcelona  Spain
25 Portland  United States
Tokyo, Japan

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Better Life Index". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Global Liveability Ranking and Report August 2015". The Economist Group. August 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  4. ^ Greenway, H.D.S. (26 May 2010). "The Best Place to Live?". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "2015 Quality of Living City Rankings". Mercer LLC. 2015. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Bloomfield, Steve, ed. (2015). "Quality of Life Survey 2015". Retrieved 2015-06-13.