The World's Most Livable Cities

The Economist

Melbourne, Australia: World's Most Livable City

When you move, do you ever reference one of the many 'best of' city rankings? Having just returned from two of the four current 'most livable' cities, I'd have to agree that they're quite amazing. The Economist Intelligence Unit recently released it's list of the world's most livable cities, based on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Surprisingly none of the typical popular urban centers such as London, Paris or New York made even the top 25. Instead, Australian and Canadian cities snagged seven of the top ten spots:

According to The Economist, the survey works like this,

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. The survey originated as a means of testing whether Human Resource Departments needed to assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. While this function is still a central potential use of the survey, it has also evolved as a broad means of benchmarking cities. This means that liveability is increasingly used by city councils, organisations or corporate entities looking to test their locations against others to see general areas where liveability can differ.

2012 Rankings:
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Adelaide, Australia
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Perth, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
18. Tokyo, Japan
26. Honolulu, US
31. Hong Kong, China
53. London, UK
56. New York, US
102. New Delhi, India
140. Dhaka, Bangladesh

The survey ranks a total of 140 cities. According to the report, those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density:

This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure... Global business centres tend to be victims of their own success. The 'big city buzz' they enjoy can overstretch infrastructure and cause higher crime rates. New York, London, Paris and Tokyo are all prestigious hubs with a wealth of recreational activity, but all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than would be deemed comfortable.

Read The Full Report: Liveability Ranking and Overview

MORE CITY RANKINGS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
America's Best Cities: Is Yours on the List?
Forbes' List of Best Small Cities to Raise a Family
The Best Cities for Urban Gardening
Eco-friendly Small Towns in the West
America's 10 Most Walkable Cities
10 Cities Where Renting Is Better Than Buying
America's Top 10 Most Tech-Friendly Cities

(Image: Peshkov Daniil / Shutterstock)

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