When the bright lights of New York or the cultural-hub that is London-town gets ranked lower than Melbourne or Adelaide, what does the world’s ‘liveability’ ranking actually mean?
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest “liveability” ranking released earlier this week shows which cities are best to call home, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most vibrant or exciting.
The rankings are intended to measure the relative comfort of 140 cities where expat executives might conceivably find themselves living or visiting, according to Skift – which immediately excludes conflict hot spots such as Baghdad and Kabul.
Accordingly, companies use the results to calculate the “hardship” value and works out allowances to send employees to work there.
Therefore, “what’s “liveable” isn’t necessarily the same as what’s the most vibrant or exciting (which might come with some element of danger or inconvenience),” Skift explains.
Hence why the big, bright lights of New York or the rapid pace of crowded London ranks quite low in the list – 55th and 56th respectively.
“All suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than would be deemed comfortable,” the EIU said.
Following suit from previous editions of the rankings, Australian cities usually get a good deal, as does Canadian hubs. This year Melbourne took out the top spot for the fourth year in a row, and being sparsely populated – actually, fits in well with EIU’s methodology, skfit explains.
“They foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.”
Vienna, Helsinki, and Auckland are also listed aside from other Australian and Canadian cities in the top 10.
In fact, every one of the top 64 cities scores high enough for a place in the top tier of liveability, and “should be considered broadly comparable,” according to the EIU.
“The research firm suggests that no extra payment should be needed to entice an expat moving to any of these cities, from Melbourne in first place to Santiago, Chile in 64th. By contrast, at least 20% of salary is recommended as a hardship allowance for expats dispatched to cities in the bottom tier, including Harare, Karachi, or Damascus,” Skift reports.
With the margin between Melbourne in first spot and New York in 56th place is relatively small (10.9 percentage points on a 100-point scale), what’s compelling according to Skift is the report’s “definitive ranking of cities”.
The list of most liveable cities in the world according to EIU:
- Hong Kong
- Washington DC
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- New York
Do you think the Liveability Rankings are spot on?
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