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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Mounting global instability impacts latest Liveability ranking

 

  • Melbourne remains most liveable city but one in five cities experience decline in score.
  • Western Europe particularly affected after wave of terror attacks in last 12 months.
  • Continuing social unrest and protests drive decline of many US cities.
  • Tehran moves out of bottom ten, but Damascus remains least liveable city.

The latest findings of The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking – which provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide – show that although Melbourne has retained its crown as the world's most liveable city, liveability has deteriorated in 29 of the 140 cities (20 per cent) surveyed over the last 12 months.

The decline is largely a result of heightened fears over terrorism with more than 1,000 reported attacks in 2016 so far, with incidents in France, Turkey, the US and Belgium being the most high profile. Factors such as social unrest in many US cities due to the deaths of black people in police custody, tensions in Eastern Europe and Asia and the ongoing civil wars in Ukraine, Syria and Libya have compounded the decline.

Jon Copestake, editor of the report, comments: "The latest rankings paint a very somber picture. The global trend for declining liveability has become depressingly familiar in recent years as acts of terror in major cities are becoming an increasingly common occurrence. But even discounting terrorism, we are seeing greater instability around the world including unrest in the US, political disruption in Turkey and Thailand and geopolitical disputes in Eastern Europe and Asia."

Ten cities (Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt, Berlin, Oslo, Luxembourg, Brussels, Paris, Rome and Lisbon) in Western Europe have seen declines in liveability, mostly stemming from heightened fears of terrorism in the wake of attacks in Paris and Brussels. While social unrest and regular incidences of mass shootings have led to declines in the scores of five leading American cities (Chicago, Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco and New York), Cleveland and Atlanta both saw the steepest ranking decline, falling nine and 14 places respectively.

The findings show that even Australia, which is home to many of the world's most liveable cities, has not been immune to this experience. A hostage-taking incident in Sydney in 2014 has raised concerns about the threat of terror there, pushing the Australian city out of the ten most liveable. Heightened tensions in the South China Sea have also lowered liveability scores for Chinese cities. The steepest score declines came from Tripoli in Libya which crumbled 4.1% and Lagos in Nigeria dropping 3.7%.

Only six cities have managed to buck the trend, with improving liveability, although of these only Tehran has seen a noteworthy change. The Iranian capital has benefitted from the thawing of international relations, moving four places up the ranking and out of the very bottom tier of liveability.

 

For more information please visit http://www.eiu.com/Liveability

 

 

The ten most liveable cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

Stability

Healthcare

Culture & Environment

Education

Infrastructure

Melbourne

Australia

1

97.5

95

100

95.1

100

100

Vienna

Austria

2

97.4

95

100

94.4

100

100

Vancouver

Canada

3

97.3

95

100

100

100

92.9

Toronto

Canada

4

97.2

100

100

97.2

100

89.3

Calgary

Canada

5

96.6

100

100

89.1

100

96.4

Adelaide

Australia

5

96.6

95

100

94.2

100

96.4

Perth

Australia

7

95.9

95

100

88.7

100

100

Auckland

New Zealand

8

95.7

95

95.8

97

100

92.9

Helsinki

Finland

9

95.6

100

100

88.7

91.7

96.4

Hamburg

Germany

10

95

90

100

93.5

91.7

100

 

The ten least liveable cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

Stability

Healthcare

Culture & Environment

Education

Infrastructure

Kiev

Ukraine

131

44.1

20

54.2

48.6

75

42.9

Douala

Cameroon

132

44

60

25

48.4

33.3

42.9

Harare

Zimbabwe

133

42.6

40

20.8

58.6

66.7

35.7

Karachi

Pakistan

134

40.9

20

45.8

38.7

66.7

51.8

Algiers

Algeria

134

40.9

40

45.8

42.6

50

30.4

Port Moresby

PNG

136

38.9

30

37.5

44.2

50

39.3

Dhaka

Bangladesh

137

38.7

50

29.2

43.3

41.7

26.8

Lagos

Nigeria

138

36

10

37.5

53.5

33.3

46.4

Tripoli

Libya

139

35.9

20

41.7

37.5

50

41.1

Damascus

Syria

140

30.2

15

29.2

43.3

33.3

32.1

 

Ten of the best - the most improved liveability scores over five years

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

five year movement %

Tehran

Iran

126

50.8

+5.0

Dubai

UAE

74

74.7

+4.6

Harare

Zimbabwe

133

42.6

+4.4

Abidjan

Cote d'Ivoire

128

49.7

+3.8

Kuwait City

Kuwait

81

72.1

+2.5

Kathmandu

Nepal

124

51

+2.3

Warsaw

Poland

65

80.3

+2.1

Bratislava

Slovakia

63

81.5

+1.7

Baku

Azerbaijan

103

62.3

+1.6

Honolulu

US

17

94.1

+1.3

 

 

 

 

 

Ten of the worst - the biggest declines in liveability scores over five years

City

Country

Rank (out of 140)

Overall Rating (100=ideal)

five year movement %

Damascus

Syria

140

30.2

-26.1

Kiev

Ukraine

131

44.1

-25.1

Detroit

US

57

85

-5.7

Moscow

Russia

80

72.8

-5.6

Bahrain

Bahrain

91

68.8

-4.6

Tripoli

Libya

139

35.9

-4.5

St Petersburg

Russia

76

74.1

-4.4

Paris

France

32

91.1

-3.7

Athens

Greece

69

75.3

-3.4

Caracas

Venezuela

123

51.3

-3.3

 

END

 

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact the EIU press office:

Tel: +44 (0) 207 025 7525 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

About the Liveability survey

The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. 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.

 

The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating, part of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide. Each city is assigned a score for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories of Stability, Healthcare, Culture and environment, Education and Infrastructure. Each factor in each city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of in–house analysts and in–city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points. The categories are compiled and weighted to provide an overall rating of 1–100, where 1 is considered intolerable and 100 is considered ideal. The report considers that any city with a rating of 80 or more will have few, if any, challenges to living standards.

Liveability scores can be scaled as follows:

The survey gives an overall rating of 0-100, where 1 is intolerable and 100 is ideal.

The suggested liveability scale

Rating

Description

80–100

There are few, if any, challenges to living standards

70–80

Day–to–day living is fine, in general, but some aspects of life may entail problems

60–70

Negative factors have an impact on day-to-day living

50–60

Liveability is substantially constrained

50 or less

Most aspects of living are severely restricted

 

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 195 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. More information is available at www.eiu.com

 

The EIU is headquartered in London, UK, with offices in more than 40 cities and a network of some 650 country experts and analysts worldwide. It operates independently as the business-to-business arm of The Economist Group, the leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs.

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