By: Gurbir Singh
Auckland is the most liveable city in the world, according to the 2021 edition of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (The EIU) Global Liveability Ranking index released this morning.
Japan’s city of Osaka is placed second, followed by Adelaide, while Wellington shares the fourth rank with Tokyo in the 140 cities examined worldwide by The EIU.
According to the EIU, this year, Auckland rose to the top of the index owing to its successful approach in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. Its society largely remained open and the city scored strongly on a number of metrics including education, culture and environment.
The ECI unit is the research & analysis division of the Economist Group, the sister company to the The Economist newspaper.
“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,” says Upasana Dutt, Head of Global Liveability at The Economist Intelligence Unit.
“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. The tough lockdown and tight border controls imposed by Asia-Pacific countries such as New Zealand and Australia allowed their societies to re-open earlier and enabled residents to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life.”
The Liveability Index examined 140 cities worldwide to quantify the challenges presented to an individual’s lifestyle in the past year, for the first time taking into account this disrupting global event. Each city is assigned a liveability score for more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
“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, including Dhaka and Karachi in the Asia-Pacific region,” adds Dutt.
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.
European and Canadian countries fared particularly poorly in this year’s edition. Vienna, previously the world’s most liveable city, fell to the 12th position. The biggest mover down the ranking globally was Hamburg, which fell 34 places to 47th.
The Data for this survey was collected from Feb 22 to March 21, 2021.
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