The shimmering city of Vienna has once again clinched the coveted title of the most liveable city in the world, according to the latest Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). This remarkable achievement reflects Vienna’s unwavering resilience, bouncing back from the challenges of the pandemic to maintain its top position in 2023.
A Symphony of Liveability: Vienna’s Stellar Performance
Despite a dip in rankings during the turbulent year of 2021, Vienna’s triumphant return to the summit in 2022 and its continued reign in 2023 highlight the city’s exceptional qualities. Boasting a harmonious blend of stability, well-established infrastructure, top-notch education and healthcare services, and a kaleidoscope of cultural and entertainment offerings, Vienna embodies the epitome of liveability.
Global Leaders in Liveability
Austria, as a nation, stands tall, securing its position as the home of the world’s most liveable city. The Global Liveability Index unveiled Denmark’s Copenhagen as the second most liveable city, closely followed by the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney in the third and fourth spots, respectively. Vancouver, Canada, rounds up the top five.
“The removal of covid-related restrictions has overall boded well for global liveability in 2023. Education has emerged stronger with children returning to schools alongside a significantly reduced burden on hospitals and healthcare systems, with some notable improvements in cities across developing economies of Asia and the Middle East,” stated the report.
A Global Shift in Liveability Dynamics
This year’s index illuminates a positive trend, with the average liveability score surging from 73.2 to 76.2 out of 100 compared to the previous year. Healthcare stands out as the most improved category, closely followed by advancements in education, culture, entertainment, and infrastructure. However, stability faced a minor setback due to civil unrest and a surge in crime rates in certain cities.
Rising Stars in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
Asia-Pacific cities showcased substantial progress, with eight of the top ten cities displaying improvements fueled by economic recovery from the pandemic. Notable risers include Wellington and Auckland in New Zealand, as well as Hanoi in Vietnam. The Middle East also experienced an uptick in liveability, attributed to strides in healthcare and education, with Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia standing out.
European and American Cities: A Tale of Contrasts
In contrast, the top ten fallers in the Global Liveability Index are primarily European cities, with Edinburgh and Stockholm experiencing significant declines. The United States witnessed cities like Los Angeles and San Diego dropping by 17 places, not due to a substantial decline in index scores but because other cities demonstrated greater improvement.
Cities at the Crossroads: Damascus and Tripoli
At the bottom of the rankings, Damascus in Syria and Tripoli in Libya face ongoing challenges due to social unrest, terrorism, and conflict. Despite the persisting struggles, some cities in the bottom ten have shown signs of improvement as the pandemic’s impact wanes. The report anticipates a shifting global axis toward the East, hinting at continued progress in liveability rankings for cities in Asia and the Middle East.
In the grand orchestra of liveability, Vienna stands as the conductor, leading with grace and harmony. As the world navigates the complexities of post-pandemic life, the Global Liveability Index offers a compass, guiding us toward cities that prioritize the well-being and happiness of their inhabitants. Vienna’s triumph is a testament to the enduring spirit of cities that prioritize the essentials, creating an environment where people can thrive, learn, and revel in the rich tapestry of life.