Vienna regains the title of most livable city in the world

Vienna has regained its title as the world’s most livable city, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report published Thursday.

The Austrian city held the highest ranking in 2018 and 2019, but dropped to 12th position last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, which have left the city’s museums and restaurants closed.

“Stability and good infrastructure are the city’s main charms for its inhabitants, supported by good healthcare and plenty of cultural and entertainment opportunities,” said the annual report on Vienna’s recovery.

Liveability rankings were primarily driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as the restrictions were lifted, so were the scores. But then the opposite occurred for cities like last year’s winner, Auckland, which dropped from first place.

European cities dominated, accounting for six of the top ten. Canada had three in the top ten: Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. Osaka of Japan and Melbourne of Australia tied for tenth place.

Los Angeles was one of the “biggest drivers in the rankings” last year, coming in at 37th.

In addition to the pandemic, the war in ukraine also impacted the rankings. Ukraine’s capital Kyiv was not included after Russia invaded the country. Russian cities Moscow and St. Petersburg dropped in the rankings for “Western sanctions” and “censorship”.

“Both cities see a drop in scores due to increased instability, censorship, the imposition of Western sanctions and companies withdrawing their operations from the country,” the report reads.

The EIU report runs from February to March, and each city’s rankings are based on factors in five categories: stability, health, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Here are the top ten habitable cities in the EIU:

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Calgary, Canada

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Geneva, Switzerland

7. Frankfurt, Germany

8. Toronto, Canada

9. Amsterdam, Netherlands

10. Osaka, Japan and Melbourne, Australia

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