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City quality of life indices

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City quality of life indices are lists of cities that are ranked according to a defined measure of living conditions. In addition to considering the provision of clean water, clean air, adequate food and shelter, many indexes also measure more subjective elements including a city's capacity to generate a sense of community and offer hospitable settings for all, especially young people, to develop social skills, a sense of autonomy and identity.[1]

Regions with cities commonly ranked in the top 50 include Canada, Western Europe, United States, Australia, and New Zealand.[2] Three examples of such surveys are Monocle's "Quality of Life Survey", the Economist Intelligence Unit's "Global Liveability Ranking", and "Mercer Quality of Living Survey". Numbeo has the largest statistics and survey data based on cities and countries.[3][third-party source needed] Deutsche Bank's Liveability Survey is another ranking of cities by quality of life.

The reason some cities appear in one ranking but not another is often related to the different criteria used between rankings, but more commonly it is related the difference in weighting given to similar factors.[4]

The EIU's Global Liveability Ranking


The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes an annual Global Liveability Ranking, which ranks 140 cities for their urban quality of life based on assessments of their stability, health care, culture, environment, education and infrastructure.[5]

Melbourne, Australia, had been ranked by the EIU as the world's most livable city for seven years in a row, from 2011 to 2017.[6] Between 2004 and 2010, Vancouver, Canada, was ranked the EIU's most livable city, with Melbourne sharing first place in the inaugural 2002 report. Vancouver has ranked third since 2015, while Vienna, Austria, ranked second until 2018 when it climbed to the top spot.

The Syrian capital, Damascus, was ranked the least livable city of the 173 assessed in 2024.[7][8]

The EIU also publishes a Worldwide Cost of Living Survey that compares the cost of living in a range of global cities.[9]

EIU's Global Liveability Ranking 2024[10]
City Country/Region
1 Vienna  Austria
2 Copenhagen  Denmark
3 Zürich   Switzerland
4 Melbourne  Australia
5 Calgary  Canada
5 Geneva   Switzerland
7 Sydney  Australia
7 Vancouver  Canada
9 Osaka  Japan
9 Auckland  New Zealand

Monocle's Quality of Life Survey


Since 2006, the lifestyle magazine Monocle has published an annual list of livable cities. The list in 2008 was named "The Most Livable Cities Index" and presented 20 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, proactive policy developments and medical care.

The 2023 Monocle Survey determined the world's most livable city was Vienna, followed by Copenhagen, Munich and Zürich.[11]

Monocle's Quality of Life Survey 2023[11]
City Country/Region
1 Vienna  Austria
2 Copenhagen  Denmark
3 Munich  Germany
4 Zürich   Switzerland
5 Stockholm  Sweden
6 Tokyo  Japan
7 Helsinki  Finland
8 Madrid  Spain
9 Lisbon  Portugal
10 Melbourne  Australia
11 Berlin  Germany
12 Paris  France
13 Amsterdam  Netherlands
14 Sydney  Australia
15 Singapore  Singapore
16 Kyoto  Japan
17 Athens  Greece
18 Milan  Italy
19 Oslo  Norway
20 Seoul  South Korea

Global Finance's World's Best Cities to Live


Global Finance is an English-language monthly financial magazine that publishes a list of the world's best cities to live that is based on a score that reflects a comprehensive list of eight unique factors. These are: economic strength; research and development; cultural interaction; livability; environment; accessibility; GDP per capita (nominal in U.S. dollars); and COVID-19 deaths per million for the country.[12]

The World's Best Cities to Live In 2022[13]
City Country/Region
1 London  United Kingdom
2 Tokyo  Japan
3 New York  United States
4 Singapore  Singapore
5 Melbourne  Australia
6 Sydney  Australia
7 Paris  France
8 Los Angeles  United States
9 Shanghai  China
10 Amsterdam  Netherlands

Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking


American global human resources 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. Mercer has ranked Austria's capital Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey since 2009.

Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking 2023[14]
City Country/Region
1 Vienna  Austria
2 Zürich   Switzerland
3 Auckland  New Zealand
4 Copenhagen  Denmark
5 Geneva   Switzerland
6 Frankfurt  Germany
7 Munich  Germany
8 Vancouver  Canada
9 Sydney  Australia
10 Düsseldorf  Germany
11 The Hague  Netherlands
12 Wellington  New Zealand
13 Bern   Switzerland
14 Basel   Switzerland
14 Amsterdam  Netherlands
16 Luxembourg  Luxembourg
17 Toronto  Canada
18 Berlin  Germany
18 Ottawa  Canada
20 Montreal  Canada
20 Melbourne  Australia
22 Perth  Australia
23 Calgary  Canada
24 Oslo  Norway
25 Hamburg  Germany
26 Stockholm  Sweden
26 Stuttgart  Germany
28 Canberra  Australia
29 Singapore  Singapore
29 Adelaide  Australia
31 Nuremberg  Germany
32 Paris  France
33 Toulouse  France
34 Helsinki  Finland
34 Brisbane  Australia
36 Brussels  Belgium
37 San Francisco  United States
38 Lyon  France
39 Lisbon  Portugal
40 New York City  United States

The full ranking includes 241 cities.

Deutsche Bank Liveability Survey


The 2019 survey showed the following cities to be highest in quality of life, for numerous reasons[15] (e.g. style, affordability, happiness and pollution etc.):

Wellington, like Melbourne, has also been ranked as the most liveable city by Deutsche Bank twice in a row, and also has the least pollution of any ranked city.
Cities with the highest quality of life 2019[15]
City Country/Region
1 Zürich   Switzerland
2 Wellington  New Zealand
3 Copenhagen  Denmark
4 Edinburgh  United Kingdom
5 Vienna  Austria
6 Helsinki  Finland
7 Melbourne  Australia
8 Boston  United States
9 San Francisco  United States
10 Sydney  Australia

Numbeo's Quality of Life Ranking


Numbeo is a crowd-sourced global database of reported consumer prices, perceived crime rates, quality of health care, among other statistics.[16]

Numbeo's Quality of Life Index In 2023[17]
City Country/Region
1 The Hague (Den Haag)  Netherlands
2 Eindhoven  Netherlands
3 Vienna  Austria
4 Canberra  Australia
5 Zürich   Switzerland
6 Rotterdam  Netherlands
7 Luxembourg  Luxembourg
8 Helsinki  Finland
9 Adelaide  Australia
10 Reykjavík  Iceland
11 Copenhagen  Denmark
12 Geneva   Switzerland
13 Edinburgh  United Kingdom
14 Amsterdam  Netherlands
15 Jacksonville, FL  United States
16 Orlando, FL  United States
17 Tampa, FL  United States
18 Munich  Germany
19 Melbourne  Australia
20 Sydney  Australia
21 Portland, OR  United States
22 Muscat  Oman
23 Brisbane  Australia
24 Abu Dhabi  United Arab Emirates
25 Gothenburg  Sweden
26 Raleigh, NC  United States
27 Spokane, WA  United States
28 Cambridge  United Kingdom
29 Perth  Australia
30 Austin, TX  United States

The full ranking includes 242 cities.

See also



  1. ^ Caves, R. W. (2004). Encyclopedia of the City. Routledge. p. 434. ISBN 9780415252256.
  2. ^ "2015 quality of living survey". Mercer. 4 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Cost of Living". www.numbeo.com.
  4. ^ Vingerhoets, Ad (28 February 2013), "Why some people cry more often than others", Why Only Humans Weep, Oxford University Press, pp. 162–186, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570240.003.0009, ISBN 978-0-19-857024-0, retrieved 22 July 2023
  5. ^ "Global Liveability Ranking 2016". www.eiu.com. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  6. ^ Stephanie Chalkley-Rhoden (16 August 2017). "World's most liveable city: Melbourne takes top spot for the seventh year running". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Coronavirus: Auckland ranked most liveable city as pandemic shifts list". BBC News. 9 June 2021.
  8. ^ "The Global Liveability Index 2022" (PDF). The Economist Intelligence Unit. 2022.
  9. ^ "The Worldwide Cost of Living Survey". www.eiu.com. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  10. ^ "The world's most liveable cities in 2024" (PDF). The Economist. Retrieved 28 June 2024.
  11. ^ a b "Paradise cities | Monocle: Issue 165".
  12. ^ Getzoff, Marc (14 October 2020). "Global Finance Magazine - World's Best Cities To Live In 2020". Global Finance Magazine. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  13. ^ "World's Best Cities To Live In 2022". Global Finance. 14 March 2022.
  14. ^ Quality of living city ranking 2023 - Mercer
  15. ^ a b Taylor, Chloe (20 May 2019). "These cities offer the best quality of life in the world, according to Deutsche Bank". CNBC. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  16. ^ "About Quality of Life Indices At This Website". www.numbeo.com. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  17. ^ "Quality of Life Index by City 2023". www.numbeo.com. Retrieved 27 December 2023.