Of the 140 cities surveyed by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) for the 2019 edition of its ‘Global Liveability Index’, the world’s most liveable city was awarded to Austria’s capital, Vienna, with Melbourne coming in at an extremely close second place.
Each year the included cities are assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
For qualitative indicators, the EIU awards a rating based on the judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points.
The scores are then compiled and weighted to provide a score of 1–100, where 1 is considered ‘intolerable’ and 100 is considered ‘ideal’.
After displacing Melbourne from the top spot in 2018, ending a record run of seven consecutive years, this year Vienna retained its position at the head of the world’s most widely accepted ranking of liveability.
The two cities continue to be separated by just 0.7 percentage points, with Vienna scoring an impressive 99.1 out of 100 and Melbourne 98.4.
Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, said retaining such a high ranking was an extraordinary honour in the midst of significant population growth and major works to re-shape its transport system.
“Melbourne is Australia’s fastest-growing city and one of the fastest-growing cities in the developed world. We are planning and delivering projects in response to this growth, which will make our city even more liveable for decades to come,” she commented.
Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Prosperous City Portfolio, Councillor Kevin Louey added: “Melbourne is arguably Australia’s true global city and having such a high ranking in the liveability awards for so long is outstanding for our city’s international reputation”.
Melbourne scored maximum points in the categories of healthcare, education and infrastructure and maintained its score in stability (95) and culture and environment (98.6).
Two other Australian cities feature in the top 10: Sydney (in third) and Adelaide (10th), while only one other European city, Copenhagen in Denmark (ninth), scores among the best.
The other top-ranking cities are split between Japan (Osaka in fourth and Tokyo in joint seventh) and Canada (Calgary in fifth, and Vancouver and Toronto in sixth and joint seventh, respectively).
The cities within the top 10 remain unchanged from the EIU’s previous update, but there has been some movement in their ranking.
For example, Sydney has risen from fifth to third, thanks to an improvement in its culture and environment score, reflecting an increased focus on combating and mitigating the impacts of climate change, as outlined by the city’s ‘Sustainable Sydney 2030’ strategy.
A summary of the report can be found here.