Most liveable cities in the world in 2022

Most liveable cities in the world in 2022
Vienna, Austria. Credit: Belga

An annual index of the world's most liveable cities published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company to The Economist, rated Vienna as the number one place when analysing factors such as health care, crime rates, political stability, culture, infrastructure and access to green areas.

A free summary of the report can be downloaded here.

The EIU lined up 173 cities around the world, and the big winners this year were once again Western European cities and Canada. Copenhagen jumped up to a second place, moving up 13 positions from last year's ranking. Zurich is third with Calgary, Canada, in fourth after having gone up 18 rankings.

Among the biggest jumps, Brussels went up 22 rankings to secure the 24th place as the most liveable city.

Switzerland was the only country in Europe with two cities in the top 10, with Geneva in 6th place and Zurich. Canada was the overall country winner, with Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto all making the top 10.

German cities Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dusseldorf also leapt up the ranking and moved up to rank 7th, 16th and 22nd respectively.

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"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 authors of the study wrote.

Major cities well outside top 10

European cities missing from the top 10 were London and Paris, as the rising cost of living has impacted both cities as well as the UK leaving the EU. Nevertheless, both cities moved up in 2022, with London going up 27 places to land at 32nd place and Paris moving up 23 places to 19th.

New Zealand's Auckland fell out of the top 10 in 2022 to end at 34th place, despite coming in first last year. Similarly, cities in Australia noticeably dropped.  In 2021, Australia's Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth all joined Melbourne in the EIU's top 10, but dropped to 27th, 30th and 32nd.

Kyiv couldn't be analysed due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. In Moscow (80th place), liveability dropped by 15 places and St Petersburg went down by 13 places due to increased censorship, restrictions on culture and environment because of Western economic sanctions.

However, the EIU warns that skyrocketing inflation will put the liveability of cities at risk, particularly if there are interruptions to food and fuel supplies due to the war in Ukraine.

The EIU's top 10 in 2022

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)


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