Life

Vienna was just ranked the world's most livable city. No US cities made the top 10.

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Vienna has a population of around 2 million.
  • Vienna is the world's most livable city, per rankings by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • No US cities made the top 10, which was dominated by western Europe and Canada.
  • Auckland topped the list in 2021 because of its rapid pandemic response.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Vienna is the world's most livable city, according to a report published Thursday by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Austria's capital was followed in the EIU ranking by Copenhagen, Denmark. Zurich, Switzerland and Calgary, Canada ranked joint third and Vancouver rounded out the top five.

No US cities made it into the top 10, which was dominated by western Europe and Canada. Osaka, Japan and Melbourne, Australia came in joint 10th.

The EIU bases its annual Global Liveability Index on a range of factors including healthcare, culture, education, and stability.

Vienna – which has a population of around 2 milliontopped the ranking in 2018 and 2019 before dipping to 12th in early 2021 because of waves of lockdowns. The city's emergence from the pandemic and reopening of entertainment and cultural venues helped push it back up to the top spot.

Vienna also topped the rankings in 2018 and 2019.

"Stability and good infrastructure are the city's main charms for its inhabitants, supported by good healthcare and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment," the EIU wrote of Vienna.

Here's the top 10:

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Zurich, Switzerland and Calgary, Canada

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Geneva, Switzerland 

7. Frankfurt, Germany 

8. Toronto, Canada 

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands 

10. Osaka, Japan and Melbourne, Australia

The EIU said scores for culture and environment, healthcare, and education fell during the pandemic but had since risen after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted or eased. Globally, however, scores for stability have fallen since 2021's report.

Rankings for Moscow and St Petersburg fell after Russia invaded Ukraine, which led to increased instability, censorship, Western sanctions, and some companies withdrawing from the country, the EIU said.

The pandemic meant the EIU didn't release its Global Liveability Index in 2020 but it returned in 2021 with Auckland, New Zealand topping the list. The EIU attributed this to the city's rapid pandemic response, which allowed it to lift restrictions earlier than many other cities.

Auckland, New Zealand topped the list in 2021.

However, Auckland fell dramatically in the new rankings, to 34th, which the EIU attributed to New Zealand no longer having a Covid-19 response advantage after vaccines were rolled out globally.

Six of the top 10 cities in the EIU's spring 2021 survey were in New Zealand or Australia, which implemented tight border controls during the pandemic, meaning they needed to introduce fewer Covid-19 restrictions. The top 10 also consisted of two Japanese and two Swiss cities.

"In general, mid-sized cities in the wealthiest countries tend to fare exceptionally well in the survey," the EIU wrote.


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