The actual working hours of different income levels

Ranked: the most and least livable cities in 2022

Pandemic restrictions changed the livability of many urban centers around the world as cultural venues were closed, restaurants restricted to dining and local economies faced the consequences. But as cities around the world return to the status quo, many of these urban centers have once again become desirable places to live.

This map uses annual rankings from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to show the world’s most livable cities, measuring various categories including: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

A quick note on methodology

The ranking attempts to assess which cities around the world offer the best living conditions, by assigning a score to 30 quantitative and qualitative measures in the five categories with the following weightings:

  1. Healthcare (20%)
  2. Culture & Environment (25%)
  3. Stability (25%)
  4. Education (10%)
  5. Infrastructure (20%)

Of the 30 factors within these categories, the qualitative ones are rated as acceptable, acceptable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable by a team of expert analysts. Quantitative measures are scored based on a number of external data points. Everything is then weighted to give a score between 1-100, with 100 being the ideal.

Ranked: The 10 Most Liveable Cities

Of the 172 cities included in the ranking, many of the most livable cities in Europe can be found. However, three of the top 10 are in Canada: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

Vienna has been ranked number one many times, most recently in 2019. According to the EIU, the Austrian capital fell from the top position only during the pandemic years as its famous museums and restaurants closed.

Rank City Country To score
#1 Vienna ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria 99.1
#2 Copenhagen ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark 98.0
#3 Zurich ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland 96.3
#3 Calgary ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆCanada 96.3
#5 Vancouver ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆCanada 96.1
#6 Geneva ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland 95.9
#7 Frankfurt ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany 95.7
#8 Toronto ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆCanada 95.4
#9 Amsterdam ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands 95.3
#10 Osaka Japan 95.1
#10 Melbourne ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia 95.1

Only one Asian city, Osaka, is in the top 10, as is Melbourne for 10th place. Remarkably, not a single American city is found in the highest ranks.

Editor’s Note: Two cities are tied for both the #3 and #10 rankings, meaning the “top 10” list actually contains 12 cities.

Ranked: The 10 Least Liveable Cities

Some of the least livable cities in the world are in Africa and Central Asia.

Rank City Country To score
#163 Tehran Iran 44.0
#164 Double A ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Cameroon 43.3
#165 Harare Zimbabwe 40.9
#166 Dhaka ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉBangladesh 39.2
#167 Port Moresby ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌ Papua New Guinea 38.8
#168 Karachi ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐPakistan 37.5
#169 Algiers ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria 37.0
#170 Tripoli ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ Libya 34.2
#171 Lagos ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌNigeria 32.2
#172 Damascus ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ Syria 30.7

Many of the least livable cities are in conflict zones, contributing to the low ratings. However, these regions are also home to some of the world’s fastest growing cities, offering many opportunities for ambitious residents.

The biggest changes in ranking

Let’s take a look at the cities that have risen the most dramatically in the global rankings compared to last year’s data.

Going Up: The 10 Most Improved Cities

City Country Overall ranking Rank Change
Frankfurt ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany #7 +32
Hamburg ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany #16 +31
Duesseldorf ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany #22 +28
London ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK #33 +27
Manchester ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK #28 +26
Paris ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France #19 +23
Brussels ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium #24 +22
Amsterdam ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands #9 +21
Athens ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece #73 +19
The Angels ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA #37 +18

Here’s a breakdown of the cities that have fallen the most in the rankings since last year’s report.

Going Down: The 10 Cities That Tumbled

City Country Overall ranking Rank Change
Wellington ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand #50 -46
Auckland ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand #34 -33
Adelaide ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia #30 -27
Perth ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia #32 -26
Houston ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA #56 -25
Reykjavik ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland #48 -25
Madrid ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain #43 -24
Taipei Taiwan #53 -20
Barcelona ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain #35 -19
Brisbane ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia #27 -17

According to the report, a number of cities in New Zealand and Australia temporarily dropped in the rankings due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It is also worth noting that some Eastern European cities have dropped in the rankings due to their proximity to the war in Ukraine. Finally, due to the conflict, Kiev was not included in this year’s report.

Urbanization and quality of life

From 2021, around 57% of the world’s population lives in urban centers and projections show that people around the world will continue to move to cities.

Although there are more amenities in urban areas, the pandemic has revealed many problems with urbanization and the concentration of large populations. Pressures on healthcare systems are felt most strongly in cities and restrictions on public outings are some of the first measures being introduced in the face of a global health crisis.

With the cost of living rising, cities may face pressures on their quality of life and governments may be forced to cut back on public services. Regardless, people around the world continue to see the benefits of urban living โ€“ more than two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050.

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