Bragging rights are a big deal for the world’s top cities, each trying to edge out one another in any category of prestige. But while Paris may be the world’s most romantic city and New York the most cosmopolitan, where, truly, is the best place to live?
The Economist Intelligence Unit measures the world’s most liveable cities, gauging the top towns by several metrics, including their social stability, healthcare prospects, culture and environment, education system, and physical infrastructure. Which city does the EIU nominate as the most liveable in the world, and which Canadian cities make the list?
In reverse order (to keep the suspense!):
Liveability score (out of 100): 95.7
Auckland kicks off this top ten with sterling ‘cross the board numbers. The EIU uses five key categories (social stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure) and gives them all scores out of 100 — 100 being ideal, zero being intolerable. Auckland, for its part, doesn’t score less than 92 in any of the five categories, and gets a perfect 100 score for its education system.
Liveability score (out of 100): 95.9
With four cities appearing on this list from Australia, the island nation is, by participation at the top of the EIU’s study, the most liveable country in the world. But Perth, despite finishing last compared to its country mate cities, is no slouch. Perth gets three perfect 100 scores, recognizing the city’s exemplary healthcare system, education system and physical infrastructure.
Liveability score (out of 100): 96.0
The Finnish capital is, notably, the only city on this list without a perfect 100 score for its education system. No matter, for a 91.7 education score is still enough to get by, and Helsinki excels in other categories. The EIU awards Helsinki perfect scores for its healthcare system and social stability.
Liveability score (out of 100): 96.1
Australia’s most prominent city isn’t its most liveable, according to the EIU. Still, there is plenty to like about Sydney, defined most notably by its Opera House along the city’s picturesque harbour. Perhaps that’s a nod to Sydney’s culture and environment, which receives a sterling 94.2 score by the EIU’s study.
5. Adelaide (tie)
Liveability score (out of 100): 96.6
Tied for the fifth-most liveable city in the world is another Australian town, Adelaide. You won’t find any flaws in Adelaide’s portfolio; the EIU awards it a score no less than 94 in each of the five categories it used as a liveability measure. By comparison, Adelaide’s 96.6 overall liveability score means the Australian town is more than twice as liveable as a city like Tehran, which received a liveability score of just 45.8.
5. Calgary (tie)
Liveability score (out of 100): 96.6
Canada’s first entrant to this list comes out west, where Calgary is staking its claim as one of the finest cities in the world. First, the negative: the EIU does not smile kindly on Calgary’s culture and environment, perhaps lambasting the rodeo lifestyle with its 89.1 score in the category — among the worst marks on this list. Still, Calgary has much to boast about, including one of just three perfect scores awarded for the category of social stability.
Liveability score (out of 100): 97.2
Toronto has long been lampooned for its subpar transportation system and hellish traffic scene, so perhaps many residents of the city understand why the EIU could give the city a poor 89.3 score for the town’s physical infrastructure. Otherwise, though, Toronto is a standout. Across the other four categories used for this study, Toronto scores no less than a sparking 97.
Liveability score (out of 100): 97.3
Canada’s most liveable city ekes out Toronto by a tenth of a point in the EIU’s rankings, though such are the razor-thin margins when discussing the best of the best. Vancouver is a star in this study’s scoring system, receiving perfect 100 scores in the categories of healthcare and education. In fact, Vancouver also receives a perfect 100 score in the culture and environment category, the only city on this list to do so.
Liveability score (out of 100): 97.4
The highest-scoring European city on this list is also just one of two from the continent to appear here. Vienna’s highest honour in this study comes from the city’s infrastructure, which earns a perfect 100 score by the EIU’s measure. Only three other cities — Perth, Sydney and the most liveable city in the world, which you can see on this feature’s next slide — can lay claim to such a rank.
Liveability score (out of 100): 97.5
Australia’s most liveable city is also the most desirable in the world, according to the EIU. Melbourne excels in each of the five categories measured by the EIU, especially healthcare, education and infrastructure. Melbourne stands above by comparison. According to the EIU, Melbourne is nearly two-and-a-half times more liveable than Damascus, the Syrian city that is the least liveable town on the planet, by the EIU’s ranks.