Two years later, Vienna has overtaken Auckland as the world’s most livable city, according to a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Vienna was ranked first in 2018 and 2019, but has overtaken Auckland, New Zealand during the pandemic and slipped to 12th place in 2021. Global Liveability Index 2022,
The EIU said Auckland’s position on the index dropped to 34th place this year due to the high COVID-19 infection rate and strict border controls in 2021. Although the lockdown ended in New Zealand in December, vaccination had begun well into Europe and Canada. First the easing of restrictions.
However, it is unlikely that Auckland would have topped this year’s rankings without the pandemic, according to the EIU.
Simon Baptiste, global chief economist at the research and advisory firm, said, “Auckland was at the top last time because of the decline in other cities. Without Covid, it would be in the top 10, but not number one.”
Five other European cities – Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt and Amsterdam – also made the top ten. Canada’s Calgary and Vancouver finished third and fifth, respectively. Japan’s Osaka and Australia’s Melbourne shared 10th place – the only two “Asian” cities that made it into the top 10.
The 172 cities included in the rating were assessed in the following categories: sustainability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
Cities in New Zealand and Australia were the cities with the most declines in the EIU’s liveability rankings.
New Zealand’s capital Wellington jumped 46 places, while Australia’s Adelaide and Perth lost their 2021 positions in the top 10. They are now ranked 30th and 32nd respectively.
Australian and New Zealand cities snatched six of the top 10 spots last year, but were “very, very low” on this year’s list, as their partial reopening coincides with the spread of the more contagious Omicron variant was, Baptiste told CNBC.street signs asia” on Thursday.
But the EIU is optimistic that these cities will bounce back.
“We can expect Australian and New Zealand cities to improve their rankings when we do the next round of the survey next year. And that will be because they have further relaxed their COVID restrictions,” Baptiste said.
Other cities in the region also saw a drop in their rankings.
Singapore dropped three places to 37th this year, while Hong Kong slipped to 62nd from 49th last year.
“This is a long-term change, it’s not just about Covid. It’s part of it. But the loss of Hong Kong’s connectivity is likely to be permanent,” Baptist said, citing the decline of cultural and political freedom in the city.
The EIU reported that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine saw Moscow drop 15 places in its livability ranking, while St Petersburg dropped 13 places.
“Both cities reported a drop in scores due to increased instability, censorship, enforcement of Western sanctions and withdrawal of their operations from the country,” the report said.
The EIU said the war on Ukraine also affected the rankings of other Eastern European cities facing political deadlock, security threats, food and energy insecurity and rising inflation.
For example, Poland’s Warsaw and Hungary’s Budapest saw their stability scores decline as a result of rising diplomatic tensions, the EIU said.
Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was also excluded from this year’s report, and 33 new cities – 11 of them in China – were added.
According to the Global Liveability Index 2022, these are the world’s most livable cities and their scores:
1. Vienna, Austria (99.1)
2. Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0)
3. Tie – Zurich, Switzerland (96.3)
3. Tie – Calgary, Canada (96.3)
5. Vancouver, Canada (96.1)
6. Geneva, Switzerland (95.9)
7. Frankfurt, Germany (95.7)
7. Toronto, Canada (95.4)
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands (95.3)
10. Tie – Osaka, Japan (95.1)
10. Tie – Melbourne, Australia (95.1)