Vienna is the world’s most liveable city, according to the 2018 index from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The Austrian capital narrowly overtook Melbourne, Australia, which led the chart for seven consecutive years. Osaka (Japan) ranks third.
The annual survey of 140 urban centres considers 30 factors related to infrastructure, stability, education, healthcare, and culture and environment. Vienna never topped the EIU chart before, despite leading the larger Mercer Quality of Living ranking for nine years in a row. This year, however, a downgraded threat of militant attacks in western Europe as well as the city’s low crime rate helped Vienna take first place in the EIU survey. Meanwhile, Osaka climbed from ninth to third place due to improved scores for quality and availability of public transportation and a consistent decline in crime rates.
Overall, mid-sized cities in wealthier countries tend to score best in the survey. Moreover, several cities in the top ten have relatively low population density, which allows them to foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure. Meanwhile, global business centres tend to be victims of their own success, states the report: “The ‘big city buzz’ that they enjoy can overstretch infrastructure and cause higher crime rates. New York (57th), London (48th) and Paris (19th) are all prestigious hubs with a wealth of recreational activities, but all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than are deemed comfortable.”
The top 10 most liveable cities in the world, according to the Global Liveability Index 2018
- Vienna, Austria
- Melbourne, Australia
- Osaka, Japan
- Calgary, Canada
- Sydney, Australia
- Vancouver, Canada
- Toronto, Canada
- Tokyo, Japan
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Adelaide, Australia
Photo: distorted panoramic shot of Vienna, by Bill Smith – Flickr