Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city for the third year running by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Survey.
The survey, which assesses living conditions in 140 cities worldwide across five broad categories – stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure – gave Melbourne an overall rating of 97.5 (out of 100), with the city receiving top marks in the healthcare, education and infrastructure categories.
“We feel immensely proud that Australia’s fastest growing city has again been recognised as the most liveable city in the world,” said Geoffrey Conaghan, Agent-General for the Victorian Government in Britain, in an emailed statement.
Melbourne was ranked just ahead of Austrian capital Vienna, which scored an overall mark of 97.4 and Canadian city Vancouver (97.3).
The top ten was largely dominated by Australian and Canadian cities, with a further three Oz cities featuring high in the rankings – Adelaide (equal 5th with a score of 96.6), Sydney (7th, 96.1) and Perth (9th, 95.9) – and two from Canada: Toronto (4th, 97.2) and Calgary (equal 5th, 96.6).
Rounding out the top ten were Helsinki, Finland (8th, 96) and Auckland, New Zealand (10th, 95.7).
However, the latest survey’s findings suggest that the world is increasingly becoming a more ‘unliveable’ place in which to live. While only 28 cities of the 140 surveyed have registered changes in liveability in the last 12 months, 86 cities have experienced a change in liveability over the past five years. Of these, just 30 have seen an improvement in scores, while 56 have seen liveability levels declining.
Events such as the Arab Spring, widespread austerity in Europe and ongoing civil wars in Syria and Libya were all given as reasons behind the declining scores of many cities.
Unsurprisingly, The Syrian capital Damascus was found to be the world’s most unliveable city with an overall score of just 38.4. The other lowest scoring cities were Dhaka, Bangladesh (38.7) and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (38.9). Damascus’s score has fallen by 20.4 points from what it was five years ago, the largest decline recorded in this period.
The most improved country in which to live during the last five years is Bogota, which scored 59.6 in this year’s survey – 7.9 points higher than its score five years ago.