Top 10 Liveable Cities
4 of the top 10 are Australian – can you name them? Photos – Canva.
  • Six of the top ten cities are in either Australia or New Zealand
  • Vienna - previously crowned as the most liveable - has dropped out of the top ten, as have all Canadian cities
  • Border controls in Australia and NZ have allowed residents to lead 'relatively normal lives'

Yesterday, London-based The Economist released its Global Liveability Ranking, after taking a pandemic-induced hiatus last year.

The otherwise-annual assessment ranks 140 global cities based on their quality of life using factors such as stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education and infrastructure.

Melbourne held the title as the world’s most liveable city for seven consecutive years – 2011 to 2017 – before losing out to the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Australian cities have featured in the top 10 every year since its inception in 2002, the only country to do so.

Recent analysis by both the University of Pennsylvania and Bloomberg also comfortably placed Australia among the top ten best countries to live in.

Traditionally, the top ten cities have been drawn from Asia-Pacific and Europe.  However, as the world still comes to terms with the pandemic, only one European country features in the top ten this year: Switzerland with Zurich and Geneva.

The last winner – Vienna – is not even in the top ten and Canada, which usually hosts several cities in the top ten, does not make an appearance at all.

Oceania dominates

Auckland has been crowned as the world’s most liveable city – despite the fact New Zealand’s largest city is currently undergoing a housing affordability crisis.

Adelaide is third place making it the most liveable city in Australia – Perth is ranked sixth, Melbourne equal eighth – previously it was second place –  and Brisbane tenth. Sydney, which has been among the top ten on several occasion in the past, does not quite make the top ten, coming in at 11th.

Top 10 Liveable Cities

Top 10 Liveable
Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit

The cities in the top ten vary greatly in population.

While Tokyo has more than 37 million residents, Wellington is home to just over 215,000.

Several of the top ten are also among the least affordable in the world – including Adelaide.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has impacted the list greatly with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) stating that the situation has “taken a heavy toll on global liveability.”

“Cities across the world are now much less liveable than they were before the pandemic began, and we’ve seen that regions such as Europe have been hit particularly hard.

“Six of the top ten cities in the March 2021 survey are in New Zealand or Australia, where tight border controls have allowed residents to live relatively normal lives.

“New Zealand’s tough lockdown allowed their society to reopen and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life.”

EIU in a statement

For the curious, the least liveable city is Damascus in Syria.

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