(20 August 2014) – The Economist Intelligence Unit has published its yearly ‘Global liveability survey’, assessing which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Only two European cities appear in the top ten – Vienna a (2nd) and Helsinki (8th).
Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, the liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
Melbourne remains the most liveable location of the 140 cities surveyed, followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. Vancouver, which was the most liveable city surveyed until 2011, lies in third place. Over the past six months only nine cities of 140 surveyed have experienced changes in scores and only 20 cities (14% of those surveyed) have seen changes over the past year.
Events in Ukraine, in particular, have had significant knock-on effects for cities such as Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg. Localised instability has also affected locations like Bangkok. Despite events in Israel, Tel Aviv’s rating is unchanged, largely because the existing stability score already accounted for the unrest now taking place.
Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.