Considering a big move this year? You may want to think about Canada or western Europe.
The annual ranking of the world’s most liveable cities has just been released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and 2022’s Global Liveability Index shows some marked differences from the previous year.
The EIU, which is a sister organization to The Economist, ranked 173 cities around the world on a variety of factors, including health care, crime rates, political stability, infrastructure and access to green space.
Overall, Europe dominated the list, with six spots in the top 11 (there was a tie for 10th place). Copenhagen, which CNN Travel pronounced Europe’s capital of cool in December 2021, nabbed second place on the Global Liveability Index.
Switzerland was the only country in Europe to have two entries in the top 10, with Geneva in sixth position and Zurich landing in third.
However, the overall country winner was Canada. The Great White North had three of its cities represented – Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.
“Cities that were towards the top of our rankings before the pandemic have rebounded on the back of their stability, good infrastructure and services, as well as enjoyable leisure activities,” the index’s authors wrote.
Last year’s winner, New Zealand’s Auckland, fell out of the top 10 in 2022 to land at a surprising 34th place.
Neighboring Australia had the most noticeable drop in the rankings this year. Despite having topped the list in the past, Melbourne fell to 10th place in 2022.
In 2021, Australia dominated the EIU index, with Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth all joining Melbourne in the top 10. This year, they rank 27th, 30th and 32nd respectively.
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, was in fourth place in 2021 but also dropped out of the top 10 this year.
Though Europe had a very good showing in 2022, there are two noticeable entries missing – London and Paris. Increased cost of living expenses played a role in both metropolises, as did the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
Ongoing global conflict was the number-one factor determining which countries ranked at the bottom of the list. Damascus, Lagos and Tripoli were rated the three least liveable cities in the world.
Meanwhile, Kyiv was not analyzed this year due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Liveability versus cost of living
Earlier this month, global mobility company ECA International released its list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, with a focus on expats.
Hong Kong had the dubious honor of coming in first place, with New York City, Geneva, London and Tokyo rounding out the top five.
The only city to appear on both the ECA and EIU indexes was Geneva.
The most expensive cities ranking was determined solely by economic factors – average rent, the price of gas and the like – as opposed to the EIU list, which looks at a city’s cultural attractions like museums and concerts as well as infrastructure like mass transit.
2022’s Global Liveability Index: The top 10
1. Vienna, Austria
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
3. Zurich, Switzerland
4. Calgary, Canada
5. Vancouver, Canada
6. Geneva, Switzerland
7. Frankfurt, Germany
8. Toronto, Canada
9. Amsterdam, Netherlands
10. Osaka, Japan and Melbourne, Australia (tie)