Auckland tops the Global Liveability Ranking
New Zealand and Australian cities dominate the top ten, owing to their strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Eight Asia-Pacific cities dominate the top ten, including Osaka, Adelaide, Wellington, Tokyo, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane
European and Canadian cities have fallen significantly in the rankings, due to the impact of lockdowns. Vienna, previously the world’s most liveable city, falls to twelfth
Damascus Syria remains the world’s least liveable city
News release from Economist Intelligence Unit, Wed, 09th Jun 2021
The 2021 edition of the Global Liveability Ranking finds that Auckland is the most liveable city in the world – with Osaka, Adelaide, Tokyo and Wellington rounding out the top five.
Auckland rose to the top of the ranking owing to its successful approach in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed its society to remain open and the city to score strongly on a number of metrics including education, culture and environment.
The biggest gainer in this year’s index is Honolulu. The city rose 46 places to fourteenth after its strong progress in containing the pandemic and rolling out its vaccination programme.
However, overall, the COVID-19 pandemic caused liveability to decline – as cities experienced lockdowns and significant strains on their healthcare systems. This led to an unprecedented level of change in the rankings, with many of the cities that were previously ranked as the most liveable tumbling.
In particular, European and Canadian countries fared poorly in this year’s edition. Vienna, previously the world’s most liveable city, fell to the twelfth position. While the biggest mover down overall was Hamburg, which fell 34 places to 47th.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on global liveability. Cities across the world are now much less liveable than they were before the pandemic began, and we’ve seen that regions such as Europe have been hit particularly hard.
The cities that have risen to the top of the rankings this year are largely the ones that have taken stringent measures to contain the pandemic. New Zealand’s tough lockdown allowed their society to re-open and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life.
“One area where there has been regrettably little change is at the bottom of our rankings. Damascus remains the world’s least liveable city, as the effects of the civil war in Syria continue to take their toll. Indeed, most of the previous ten least liveable cities remain in the bottom ten this year.
-- UPASANA DUTT, HEAD OF GLOBAL LIVEABILITY AT THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT
Download the full report “The Global Liveability Index 2021“