If you are planning a long overseas stay, here are the most liveable cities in the world

capital of austria, vienna (wien). photo by aapo haapanen.
The capital of Austria, Vienna (Wien). Photo by Aapo Haapanen.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has published its annual index that measures overall conditions for living a good life (something like the quality of life) in cities across the world. Austrian capital Vienna (Wien) claimed the number one position for the third time in a row. Here is the top 10 of the most liveable cities in the world.

EIU’s Global Liveability Index ranks 173 cities in five key categories, including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Top 10 most liveable cities in 2024 according to EIU:

1 Vienna, Austria
2 Copenhagen, Denmark
3 Zurich, Switzerland
4 Melbourne, Australia
5 Calgary, Canada
5 Geneva, Switzerland
7 Sydney, Australia
7 Vancouver, Canada
9 Osaka, Japan
9 Auckland, New Zealand

European cities take four out of 10 highest positions, and Canada and Australia two top 10 positions each. If you are wondering where are, for instance, large US cities, like Los Angeles and New York – they were ranked at 58th and 70th.

Cities at the bottom of the index have remained the same since the previous edition of the study. Damascus, Syria still ranks as the least liveable city in the world, and Tripoli in Libya, Algiers in Algeria and Lagos in Nigeria ranking just above Damascus.

So what are the key factors that push a city to the top 10, or drop it to the bottom of the index? Looking at the top 10 cities, practically all have scored full points for healthcare and education. There is relatively small variation in stability between top 10 cities, making only a minor difference. Infrastructure and culture/environment sectors have the biggest variation among the cities. Nonetheless, if we only look at numbers, differences are fairly small among the top 10 cities.

Achieving good infrastructure, healthcare, and all the other measured factors takes a long time, and require long term investments. It is not a surprise that cities that do well in the EIU most liveable city index are quite expensive to live in.