Vienna has ended Melbourne’s seven-year reign as the world’s most liveable city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The Austrian capital scored a near perfect score of 99.1 out of 100 in the index, whose criteria include stability, healthcare and the environment. Cities in Australia and Canada took six of the top ten spots, with the US again missing out.
Big financial centres such as London (48th) and New York (57th) suffer from their own success, according to the EIU, with overstretched public transport, higher levels of crime and congestion denting their appeal. Hong Kong (35th) just edged out its local rival Singapore (37th) on the index after improving on stability scores.
Elsewhere in Asia, Osaka (3rd) and Tokyo (7th equal) both climbed the rankings to their highest position in more than a decade on consistent declines in crime rates and improvements in public transport. Most of the best-performing spots are mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with relatively low population density.
Honolulu is the topped ranked US city in 23rd place, followed by Pittsburgh in 32nd.
At the bottom end of the table of 140 cities, the lowest-scoring is war-torn Damascus. Those suffering from inadequate infrastructure such as Harare, or in the case of Dhaka, severe pollution, also fare badly.
© 2018 Bloomberg