Best and worst cities to live

Are you looking for a change of scenery, but still crave the buzz of city life? Do you have any idea where on Earth you could make a new home? You might want to start hunting in western Europe or Canada if the latest ranking of the world’s most liveable cities is any guide.

With Covid-19 fast becoming a fading memory in much of the world, the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index 2022 is looking a lot like it did in the pre-pandemic days.

Vienna has re-captured the top spot that it held three years ago, before it slipped to 12th place in 2021 due to the Covid-induced closure of museums and restaurants. The Austrian capital just pipped Denmark’s Copenhagen to the post, thanks to a higher healthcare score, while Switzerland’s Zurich and Canada’s Calgary and Vancouver round out the top five.

Languishing at the bottom of 173 cities are Tripoli in Libya, the Nigerian city of Lagos and Syria’s Damascus.

“For the past two years, EIU’s global liveability rankings have been largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and social distancing measures affecting scores for culture, education and healthcare in cities across the world,” the report notes.

“However, in our most recent survey, the index has normalised, as restrictions have been lifted in many countries.”

The only non-European or Canadian cities to break into the top 10 were Osaka in Japan and Australia’s Melbourne, which came in joint 10th place.

Other cities Down Under didn’t fare quite so well, the EIU said. Both Australia and New Zealand benefited from closed borders in early 2021, which kept Covid cases down and life relatively normal, but the more infectious strains that ripped through the population later that year disrupted normal life. Wellington and Auckland tumbled 46 and 33 places respectively — the biggest drops on the list.

Among the biggest movers in the opposite direction was London, which rose 27 places to take 33rd position, and Los Angeles, up 18 places to 37th place.

The report noted that China had not yet benefited from the lifting of Covid restrictions with outbreaks of the virus leading to strict lockdowns, while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine meant Kyiv was excluded from the list.

The EIU said cities were ranked on more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

These are the top 10 most liveable cities:

1)  Vienna, Austria

2)  Copenhagen, Denmark

3)  Zurich, Switzerland

3)  Calgary, Canada

5)  Vancouver, Canada

6)  Geneva, Switzerland

7)  Frankfurt, Germany

8)  Toronto, Canada

9)  Amsterdam, Netherlands

10)  Osaka, Japan

10)  Melbourne, Australia

And these are the bottom 10:

163)  Tehran, Iran

164)  Douala, Cameroon

165)  Harare, Zimbabwe

166)  Dhaka, Bangladesh

167)  Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

168)  Karachi, Pakistan

169)  Algiers, Algeria

170)  Tripoli, Libya

171)  Lagos, Nigeria

172) Damascus, Syria

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Best and worst cities to live