Most liveable cities index

What is it?

Each year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) compiles an index of 140 cities around the world, ranking their relative liveability according to 30 indicators distributed across 5 broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.

This year, Vancouver remains in the top spot, with a score of 98 out of a maximum possible 100. In 2nd spot, up from 3rd last year, is our very own Melbourne, with a score of 97.5. The two cities are equal across stability, healthcare and education categories, differing only in infrastructure (Melbourne outranks Vancouver by 3.6 points) and culture and environment (Vancouver outranks Melbourne by 4.9 points).

The top ten look like this:

  1. Vancouver, Canada – 98.0
  2. Melbourne, Australia – 97.5
  3. Vienna, Austria – 97.4
  4. Toronto, Canada – 97.2
  5. Calgary, Canada – 96.6
  6. Helsinki, Finland – 96.2
  7. Sydney, Australia – 96.1
  8. Perth, Australia – 95.9
  9. Adelaide, Australia – 95.9
  10. Auckland, New Zealand – 95.7

A summary of the report is downloadable, here.

What do we think?

It is clear that the index places great importance on basic living criteria, noting this in the report’s introduction and assigning high value to assessed issues like: safety from crime; availability of over-the-counter medicines; access to social freedoms; access to private education; and quality of energy and water provision. According to the EIU, a liveable city gets all the basics right, perhaps to leave room for it develop all the character, nuance and richness that make a great city.

We think Melbourne is a great city.

It has all the basics: an easy (if occasionally unpredictable) climate; a dynamic and mobile workforce; great parks; high quality restaurants, bars and clubs; world-class sporting and cultural events throughout the year; accomplished schools, universities and hospitals; fantastic galleries; low levels of pollution and crime.

It is also a city of great character, one barely glimpsed upon first impression but revealed during lengthy acquaintance. Its cultural diversity establishes a complex, multitudinous voice. Its production of architecture, fine art, theatres, literature and film inspires. Its populace is generally friendly, open-minded and interested in new experiences. Most importantly, Melbourne offers plenty of great places to enjoy a slow Sunday-morning breakfast with friends.

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