The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published its Global Liveability Report 2017. For the seventh consecutive year, Melbourne in Australia is the most liveable urban centre of the 140 cities surveyed, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. In fact, only 0.1 percentage points separate the top two cities, and just 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points separate Canada’ s Vancouver and Toronto (ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively), from Melbourne. Another Canadian city, Calgary, shares joint fifth place with Adelaide in Australia.
Although the top five cities remain unchanged, the past few years have seen increasing instability across the world, causing volatility in the scores of many cities. In Europe, cities have been affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region. At the same time, this year cities such as Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, have benefited from an increasing cultural availability and falling crime rates, enabling them to register improvements in living conditions.
The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit’ s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’ s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.