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By Michael Yardney
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World’s most liveable cities for 2023 revealed, and TWO Aussie cities make the list

The world’s most liveable cities have been revealed for 2023, with two Australian cities storming back to the top of the list after a sharp tumble in 2022.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released it's Global Liveability Index 2023 - the fifth edition of the report - which ranked Melbourne in 3rd place (up from 10th place in 2022) and Sydney in 4th place (up from 13th place last year).

Aus Cities

The two cities’ resurgence comes after our extended Covid-19 lockdowns and closed Australian borders throughout 2020-22 have ended, severely affecting Australia’s liveability rating across all cities a few years ago.

In fact, the report attributes a “shift towards normality after the pandemic” as the key factor helping the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney to bounce back up the rankings.

Most notably, both cities achieved high scores in the healthcare category, a significant improvement since last year when they were still affected by covid waves that stressed their healthcare systems.

But it wasn’t just Melbourne and Sydney which achieved great rankings this year.

Improvements in healthcare also saw Perth and Adelaide noted as two of the biggest movers up the ranking in the past 12 months.

Perth and Adelaide settled in joint 12th place - up from 32nd and 30th place respectively last year.

Overall worldwide liveability improves

A shift back towards normality after the Covid-19 pandemic and incremental improvements in liveability made by many developing countries have been the biggest drivers of changes in EIU’s global liveability rankings, the report explained.

With covid restrictions now diminished, the 2023 survey shows a noticeable improvement across the world with the average index score across all 172 cities (excluding Kyiv) reaching 76.2 out of 100, up from 73.2 a year ago - this is the highest score in 15 years.

Healthcare scores have improved the most, with smaller gains for education, culture and environment, and infrastructure.

Only stability has seen a small decline, reflecting increasing perceptions of corruption and civil unrest in many cities amid a cost-of-living crisis, as well as an uptick in crime in some cities, the report said.

The world’s most liveable cities

For 2023, Vienna retained the top spot on this year’s liveability index, yet again, thanks to the city’s unsurpassed combination of stability, good infrastructure, strong education and healthcare services, and plenty of culture and entertainment, with one of its few downsides being a relative lack of major sporting events.

Copenhagen, which came in second place, for the same reasons.

Further down in the top ten, in the Swiss cities of Zurich (6th place) and Geneva (joint 7th), education category scores have risen since last year.

In the Canadian cities of Vancouver (5th), Calgary ( joint 7th) and Toronto (9th), scores for stability are up compared with last year, when these cities were impacted by anti-vaccine protests.

The end of covid-related restrictions has given a slight boost to the culture and environment ratings of the Japanese city of Osaka (10th).
So here's the full list:

Top 10 most liveable cities for 2023

Rank City Country Index
1 Vienna Austria 98.4
2 Copenhagen Denmark 98.0
3 Melbourne Australia 97.7
4 Sydney Australia 97.4
5 Vancouver Canada 97.3
6 Zurich Switzerland 97.1
7 Calgary Canada 96.8
7 Geneva Switzerland 96.8
9 Toronto Canada 96.5
10 Osaka Japan 96.0
10 Auckland New Zealand 96.0

 

1. Vienna (Austria)

  • Liveability index - 98.4
  • Stability - 100.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 93.5
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastucture - 100.0

2. Copenhagen (Denmark)

  • Liveability index - 98.0
  • Stability - 100.0
  • Healthcare - 95.8
  • Culture & Environment - 95.4
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastucture - 100.0

3. Melbourne (Australia)

  • Liveability index - 97.7
  • Stability - 95.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 95.8
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastucture - 100.0

4. Sydney (Australia)

  • Liveability index - 97.4
  • Stability - 95.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 94.4
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastucture - 100.0

5. Vancouver (Canada)

  • Liveability index - 97.3
  • Stability - 95.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 97.2
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastructure - 96.4

6. Zurich (Switzerland)

  • Liveability index - 97.1
  • Stability - 95.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 96.3
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastructure - 96.4

7. Calgary (Canada)

  • Liveability index - 96.8
  • Stability - 100.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 87.3
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastucture - 100.0

8. Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Liveability index - 96.8
  • Stability - 95.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 94.9
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastructure - 96.4

9. Toronto (Canada)

  • Liveability index - 96.5
  • Stability - 100.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 94.4
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastructure - 89.3

10. Osaka (Japan)

  • Liveability index - 96.0
  • Stability - 100.0
  • Healthcare - 100.0
  • Culture & Environment - 86.8
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastructure - 96.4

10. Auckland (New Zealand)

  • Liveability index - 96.0
  • Stability - 95.0
  • Healthcare - 95.8
  • Culture & Environment - 97.9
  • Education - 100.0
  • Infrastructure - 92.9

But declines in stability are putting liveability at risk

Of the five categories covered by the liveability index, only stability has seen a decline in its ratings since last year, the report explains.

In many cities, such as Athens, stability scores have fallen this year because of greater civil unrest while elsewhere, inflation, dissatisfaction with working conditions and occasional shortages of goods have sparked wage strikes and protests.

In France, for example, protests over pension reforms have dented its cities’ ranks.

Other countries, from Israel and South Africa to Bangladesh and Peru, have also seen waves of protests fuelled by high petrol and food prices or allegations of government corruption.

Despite such instances across many cities, the drop in our overall stability ratings has been modest, as upward revisions in many eastern European cities (which were at increased threat of military conflict in 2022) and Canada (which faced anti-vaccine protests last year) have nearly offset declines elsewhere.

Even so, we do not expect the bubbling anger to die down soon. Still-high global commodity prices continued supply-chain disruptions, high food prices and currency weakness against the US dollar for some countries will continue to fuel discontent in 2023.

- the report said.

Higher interest rates in the US and Europe have raised the risk of an increase in bankruptcies, bank failures and economic distress.

Strains on public order and economic headwinds have also increased instances of crime in some cities, and these will continue to be a risk for the future. All of this suggests that stability scores in our Liveability Index are unlikely to recover quickly.

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Note: This ranking for 2023 should serve as a reminder for investors to highlight the importance of location within a city when it comes to buying an investment property.

Obviously, not all locations in any one city will be the same.

Beauty, amenities, services and walkability are all key factors that help set a high-value investment-grade suburb apart from the rest.

After all, it’s all about the lifestyle and what we call a 20-minute neighbourhood.

Since the pandemic began, our ‘home’ is no longer simply the place we rest and enjoy some downtime between work and our social lives.

Now, the neighbourhood is more important than ever.

Buyers are willing to pay a premium for properties that are within walking distance of, or a short trip to, a great shopping strip, your favourite coffee shop, amenities, the beach, and a great park.

And as a result, these are the type of neighbourhoods that investors and wannabe homeowners are flocking to.

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
2 comments

Go live in Copenhagen for a few months and you will realise how terrible and subjective these posts are. $40 for a bottle of old spice and absolutely freezing. Alot of depressed people. Australia and Thailand should dominate

1 reply

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