Mapping The World's Most Liveable Cities

If you want to move to one of the world's most liveable cities, pack your bags and book flights to Australia or Canada...

Infographic: The World's Most Liveable Cities  | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

As Statista's Niall McCarthy notes, The Economist assessed 140 major cities worldwide on stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, declaring Melbourne the most liveable city in 2017 for the seventh year running. Australia's second most populous city scored 97.5 out of 100. Vienna, the Austrian capital, came second and three Canadian cities rounded off the top five - Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.

As well as those three Canadian cities, a total of three in Australia made the top-10 list (Adelaide and Perth as well as top-placed Melbourne). Interestingly, U.S. cities are notably absent from the top of The Economist's list with Auckland, Helsinki and Hamburg all boasting high liveability scores.

The Syrian capital of Damascus was at the very bottom of the ranking with a score of 30.2, along with Lagos in Nigeria (36.0) and Tripoli in Libya (36.6).


Reverend.Pajam… Aug 24, 2017 4:21 AM Permalink

Allow me to humbly submit Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam as a surprisingly livable city.  Positive features include:

  • Year-round warm, but not swealteringly hot, weather
  • Very low cost of living by Western standards
  • Insanely prosperous, fast growing economy.  Like nothing I had ever seen in America.  Over 100 high rise towers and tons of infrastructure currently under construction.  
  • Very high levels of personal freedom.  If you're not physically hurting anyone else, and not engaging in Vietnamese politics, the cops simply don't care.  At all.  In fact the cops remind me a lot of sheriff Andy Griffith in Mayberry.  Mostly they sit around drinking coffee and leaving people alone.  Marijuana is openly tolerated.
  • Conservative, "family values" culture.  Low divorce rate.  Stable, happy, traditional families.
  • Near zero incidence of both hipsterism and feminism.  
  • Near zero violent crime.
  • Near zero homelessness.
  • Very few beggars.  The few beggars who do exist are almost all old war victims and cripples, people for whom one may feel legitimate sympathy, not just lazy shits asking for a handout.
  • More small family businesses than I've seen anywhere else, ever.
  • Vivid red hammer & sickle banners, and Communist propaganda posters promoting traditional morality, hanging all over the city.  No, as an emperical fact, this does not contradict the statement above about small businesses.  
  • Very few immigrants, all of whom have jobs and respect the local culture.  The Vietnamese government will let almost anyone visit and stay as long as they like.  But under no circumstances will they ever give a single penny of welfare or other public assistance to foreigners.  
  • Most expats who stay for more than a few years end up married with kids.  
  • Friendly people.  As formally socialist country under Communist leadership - even if the actual economy has big elements of capitalism - the culture is not nearly so dog-eat-dog as we're used to in the West.  Consequently people are less aggressive and less depressed. 
  • Perhaps counter-intuitively, the local government is a geopolitical ally of the United States.  Despite the horrible history of war between our peoples, we Americans have one really big thing going for us here: we've definitely not Chinese.  (Note that Chinese-Americans may not enjoy Vietnam so much, because of current and longstanding historical bad feelings between the two nations.) 
  • Fast, reliable, super cheap internet.  
  • Young, increasingly well-educated population
  • Almost every university grad under 30 speaks English, with varying levels of proficiency.  
  • Vietnam is poor in the sense that most people can't afford a private automobile and the latest $800 iPhone - not in the sense of dysfunctional squalor.  This is a Second World (former Soviet bloc) country, not a Third World shithole like Cambodia.  Even the poorest people live in houses with real walls, a roof, electricity, indoor plumbing, etc.  
  • Fairly modern infrastructure.  
  • Cool old architecture, if you're into Tropical Modern or French Colonial styles
  • Modern, Western-standard housing is readily available.  
  • Streets are cleaner than NYC or SF
  • Cheap, tasty, reasonably healthy food.
  • Cheap beer!
  • Well developed taxi services, as well as Uber and Grab
  • Motorcycles everywhere!  If you have any balls, you too will ride a motorcycle on a daily basis.  

 However there are a few downsides:

  • Bad traffic.  You will nearly get run over by a motorcycle, every single day.  
  • Many large intersections are intentionally unsignalized (this may be a plus for some people - it's very efficient).
  • Crossing the street on foot involves just wading out into traffic.  If you wait for traffic to stop, you'll be waiting forever.  
  • Air pollution.  Not bad like China, but worse than NYC.  
  • Lots of petty property crime like pickpocketing and burglary.  But near zero muggings or other violent crime.  
  • Single-party state.  Much more of a problem for politically-inclined Vietnamese citizens than for foreigners.  You can talk privately about the government all you want without fear - it's not at all a police state.  But it would be a very, very bad move to have banners or pamphlets printed up in Vietnamese demanding multiparty capitalist democracy.   
  • Amusingly large numbers in prices.  Everyone in Vietnam is a millionaire - because 1,000,000 VND is worth a little less than 50 USD.  
  • Shopkeepers will often try to give you "the foreigner discount" - i.e. charge you 2x - 10x the normal price.  
  • The language is easy to read but extremely difficult to pronounce.  
  • High taxes on hard liquor and imported electronics.  
  • Petty corruption.  If you drive, at some point the traffic cops will surely extort some money out of you.
  • If you're expecting Bangkok-style red light districts and in-your-face prostitution, you will be sorely disappointed.  This is a socially conservative Buddhist/Catholic/Communist culture and they don't tolerate that shit.
Arkadin Aug 23, 2017 12:15 PM Permalink

I don't see why there are no Russian cities here.  HIghly liveable, desirable and still affordable (including Moscow and Saint Petersburg if you play your cards right.)  They have the advantage of being peopled by Russians (largely) and Russians are splendid.  Go to Nizhny Novgorod in winter.  It has the only Kremlin in Russia that was not overrun by the Mongols so it is completely in tact.  It's on a promontary overlooking the confluence of the Volga and the Oka.  In winter they are frozen and covered with snow, so that from the Kremlin all is white stretching to the distant horizon.  I don't think I've ever seen anything in Europe that was lovelier.I love the raffish glamor of Russian cities, the heady admixture of European and Asian influences, the sense that you are at the crossroads of Eurasia, and thus at the center of the known political universe, the pent-up demand for absolutely everything, and the feeling that anything could happen.  There is a book by a German author that has not been translated into any other language, but which has the suggestive title -- Russia: Not a Democacy, a Free Country.  You feel this immediately in Russian cities, this freedom, which helps account for their greatness.  Some in the West would like to see these places reduced to radioactive rubble, but I do hope that does not happen.

malek Aug 23, 2017 11:52 AM Permalink

Bullshit statistics.

From the parts of the world I've lived in or seen in-depth, I suggest:
Switzerland, french-speaking Romandie part if you're allergic to police-state tendencies in the German speaking parts, and not in the biggest cities. (Italian-speaking parts are also nice, but tiny and weather tends to be bi-polar.)

hangemhigh77 Aug 23, 2017 9:53 AM Permalink

Wtf, they left out Camden New Jersey. USA USA USA USA!! The greatest country in the world!!! Cops are heros!!! Support the troops. Keep us all safe by bombing Afghanistan. Detroit is also very nice.

foxenburg Aug 23, 2017 9:47 AM Permalink

Like Best Airline surveys, Most Liveable City surveys are useless because very few people have the experience of living in a large enough number of cities to make comparisons. So they think of the handful of cities they know and pick one. You might as well ask people on a bus "Which is the best wine to drink?" and then be surprised when they chose some $10 supermarket best seller.Calgary? I ask you.

MrGalt Aug 23, 2017 9:22 AM Permalink

Putting Toronto and Vancouver in the top shows what horseshit this "study" is.  Nice cities to be sure, but if you can't afford to live there????E.g. In Toronto they want $1 million for a fucking shack.  

jbwilson24 MrGalt Aug 23, 2017 11:57 AM Permalink

Plus it is turning into a south asian craphole. Scarborough and other suburbs are not safe at night for women. I have seen routine harassment by brown men while riding buses. In fact, my white girlfriend had to get a car to avoid all the arab, persian (etc) idiots who would constantly call her a 'whore'.

In reply to by MrGalt

The Count Aug 23, 2017 8:03 AM Permalink

Vienna is nice if you can afford to leave in the 1st or 19th district. Don't be fooled by pretty tourist flyers, there a several districts already fully in the hands of muslim and african immigrants. Hardly what Mozart and Princess Sissi was all about.I spent some time in my youth there and it was really one of the safest cities in the world. That is long gone. Riding the U Bahn at night can be a scary freak show.

MYW666 Aug 23, 2017 5:39 AM Permalink

With the government policy of massive immigration to Caanda the quality of life of there has been dropping rapidly.Vancover is unaffordable and you sure don't want to live in Toronto anymore. It won't be long until you can hear the Adhan being broadcast from loudspeakers on the CN Tower 5 times a day!

CRM114 Aug 23, 2017 5:21 AM Permalink

And The World's Most Liveable Rural Area is....Oh, you don't go do rural surveys because there isn't a Starbucks?Hey everyone, move to the countryside because there's no chance you'll meet any pretentious, self-obsessed a-holes from The Economist.

Dumpster Elite CRM114 Aug 23, 2017 8:02 AM Permalink

I'd lose my mind if I lived in a city, stacked like sardines. Kinda glad they don't do "rural surveys". We get people that come out here from suburbia, and want to build a McMansion out here in the middle of nowhere, and complain about the smell of cow shit, and demand that something be done about it. Such douchebags.

In reply to by CRM114

TheSilentMajority Aug 23, 2017 5:57 AM Permalink

Silly BS ranking methodology.

They are ranking the "most-liveable" cities for people who are on welfare or relatively low incomes.

The most liveabke cites for those peeps that have a job and have a decent income are London, NYC, LA, San Fran, Paris, Milan, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Tokyo etc.

Tubs Aug 23, 2017 3:21 AM Permalink

Sydney is great if you have a combined minimum family income of $180K per annum and a mortgage under $400K. Everyone I know under 40 who have mortgages owe at least 600K.This is gunna end real bad real soon

OldFahrtyPants Aug 23, 2017 2:50 AM Permalink

Well I live not that far from Vienna and the livin' is brilliant. Clean streets, migrant crisis is over, yep they are out of my face. Don't wanna give Angie credit for her fuckup but the Germans have sorted out the mess of 2015. All cool again. What can I say? The Alps look fantastic again. When you live in this region you have the best outdoor playground in Europe half an hour's drive away. Skiing? Yep Snow melted? Then go mountain biking.

katagorikal Aug 23, 2017 2:46 AM Permalink

These studies are uselesss if they ignore cost of living,so the results are irrelevant for 99.9% of the population... oh wait a minute ... The Economist ... and the 0.1%.

buttmint Aug 23, 2017 2:42 AM Permalink

...gimme Pattaya, Thailand! The place might be a "seedy seaside sewer, but it is MY SEWER!"Best thing about whining American bitchez and certainly NO snowflakes tolerated.How about Northern Opper Peninsular of Michigan? Lotsa winter fun! Re: Adampert: you are correctomundo, the whole corridor of "Ecotopia"( I'm dating myself) begins in SnowFlake Centrai: Santa Cruz, Californiaon up past douchebag Vancouver, including Vancouver nothing but Snow Flake Central. All filled with their exquisite sense of specialness.Santa Cruz leads the nation in places that Trustafarians (trust funders) gather as in birds of a feather fuck together.....I just pointed out Portland as ShitHole Centrai because all the crybabies in the world tend to FORGET they are wedged between Fukushima and Hanford. If they do not know their radioactive half-lives, they are soon to find out.A bunch of twits filled with the idyllic sense of eco-consumerism. Lotsa pussy in PDX with too mutt underarm hair the size of manzanita bushes!Portland DOES have a great mass transit system, The MAX, but that is about it..... Seattle on the other hand, had GREAT TRAFFIC jams. Fuck 'em all! 

Freedumb Aug 23, 2017 2:21 AM Permalink

Lived in Melbourne, boring as shit, expensive, shit transit, it's probably great if you have like millions of dollars. These lists are bullshit. Highly applicable to you, though, if you are an accountant, because these are definitely going to be the places you love.

buttmint Aug 23, 2017 2:19 AM Permalink

....the biggest snowflake "safe space cities" are modern shitholes like Portland, Oregon. There are others. Santa Fe, New Mexico comes to mind.The places reeks of snobbery, mostly shitty weather (not all the time).and assholes aplenty full of their specialness. I am shocked....truly shocked !!! that Cuidad Juarez and Monterey, Mexico did not make the top 10 list! 

giovanni_f miketv Aug 23, 2017 8:41 AM Permalink…"Judge David Kent heard the Victoria-based defendant grabbed his victims on their bottoms, breasts and, in three cases, their vaginas.Crown prosecutor Nick McGhee said the defendant was seen swimming up to his victims "in quite a predatory manner".When questioned by the lifeguard on duty, the defendant allegedly said: "If I just say sorry, can we forget all about it?"During sentencing, Judge Kent accepted the teenager grew up in difficult circumstances in Afghanistan and his father died in 2011"

In reply to by miketv

frontierland Aug 23, 2017 1:51 AM Permalink

Mapping the World's Most Racist CitiesMapping the World's Most Majority or (recently) Formerly Majority White Cities Why aren't there any MLC's in Sub Saharan Africa?            ...Because, Not Equal.

Rebelrebel7 (not verified) Aug 23, 2017 1:50 AM Permalink

I think that the safest place for me at this point might be Russia or North Korea.