For six years in a row Melbourne, Australia remains the most liveable of the 140 cities surveyed, followed very closely by Vienna.
This year’s top ten, scored from 97.5 to 95.0, a score range that included both Zurich and Geneva in 2015.
Top ten EIU Liveability Rankings 2016
1. Melbourne, Australia (97.5)
2. Vienna, Austria (97.4)
3. Vancouver, Canada (97.3)
4. Toronto, Canada (97.2)
5. Calgary, Canada (96.6)
6. Adelaide, Australia (96.6)
7. Perth, Australia (95.9)
8. Auckland, New Zealand (95.7)
9. Helsinki, Finland (95.6)
10. Hamburg, Germany (95.0)
The ranking looks at lifestyle. Every city is assigned a comfort rating relative to New York for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Scores between 1 and 100 are given for each factor, weighted, and added up to give a final figure.
Swiss cities normally rank highly in these surveys, such as the Mercer ranking earlier this year which placed Zurich second and Geneva eighth. Last year, the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) placed Zurich 10th and Geneva 12th. This year Zurich slipped to 15th and Geneva to 18th. Why have these two Swiss cities’ rankings declined?
According to EIU, ten cities in Western Europe: Berlin, Oslo, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Zurich, Geneva, Rome and Lisbon, saw declines in liveability, resulting largely from increased fears of terrorism following the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris.
Since the last ranking in 2015, 29 cities saw their scores decline. Terrorism, while not a new phenomenon, its frequency and spread have increased noticeably and become even more prominent in the past year, said the report. Protests and social unrest have also driven scores lower for some european cities.
With the exception of Vienna, Hamburg and Helsinki, the others in the top ten are far from the world’s current strife ridden regions. Those at the bottom are generally in those zones or very close to them.
This year’s worst ranked cities, had scores ranging from 44.1 to 30.2.
Worst ten EIU Liveability Rankings 2016
131. Kiev, Ukraine (44.1)
132. Douala, Cameroon (44.0)
133. Harare, Zimbabwe (42.6)
134. Karachi, Pakistan (40.9)
135. Algiers, Algeria (40.9)
136. Port Moresby, PNG (38.9)
137. Dhaka, Bangladesh (38.7)
138. Lagos, Nigeria (36.0)
139. Tripoli, Libya (35.9)
140. Damascus, Syria (30.2)
The differences between the worst city, Damascus, and the best, Melbourne is a whopping 67.3.
Zurich’s and Geneva’s scores are outstanding when compared to those at the bottom. And the shift in scores in 2016 were slim. In 2016, Zurich scored 94.3, down from 95.6 in 2015. And Geneva declined only 1.2 from 95.2 to 94.0.
Liveabilty, like most things in life is all relative.