According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s Global Liveability Index 2023 report, Vienna, Austria has once again claimed the top spot as the best city to live in worldwide. The report attributes Vienna’s success to its exceptional combination of stability, rich culture and entertainment, reliable infrastructure, exemplary education, and health services. The city has consistently held this position in recent years, with the only interruption being caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Top Cities to Live in:
- Vienna, Austria
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Melbourne, Australia
- Sydney, Australia
- Vancouver, Canada
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Calgary, Canada
- Geneva, Switzerland
- Toronto, Canada
- Osaka, Japan, and Auckland, New Zealand (Tie)
Asia-Pacific Cities Make Strides:
The EIU report highlights significant progress by Asia-Pacific cities, with eight out of the top ten movers coming from this region. The improved rankings can be attributed to a “shift towards normalcy” following the pandemic. Wellington, New Zealand rose 35 spots to 23rd place, while Auckland climbed 25 spots to reach the 10th position. Hong Kong also made a significant jump of 13 places to become the 61st most livable city in the world.
Delayed Reopening Boosts Asia-Pacific’s Ranking:
The relatively delayed reopening of Asia-Pacific countries worked in their favor, enhancing livability. Hong Kong, in particular, saw a substantial improvement due to the removal of COVID-19 restrictions, significantly enhancing the quality of life. While most of the world began reopening in early 2022, Hong Kong followed mainland China’s zero-COVID policy and relaxed restrictions only in late 2022.
Education and Healthcare Improvements in Developing Economies:
Developing economies in Asia and the Middle East witnessed notable improvements in education and healthcare scores. With the return of children to schools and reduced burden on hospitals, these sectors emerged stronger in these regions.
Decline in Stability Scores:
While various aspects such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, and culture showed improvement, stability scores experienced a marginal decline. Instances of civil unrest, rising crime rates, and cost-of-living crises affected stability in many cities. Western European cities, in particular, slipped in rankings due to increased workers’ strikes. Frankfurt in Germany and Amsterdam in the Netherlands fell out of the top 10 due to these factors.