Cities in Europe and Canada reign supreme in the latest Global Liveability Index, with the locations receiving near-perfect scores for their ability to offer citizens stability, health care, robust education, culture, pleasant climate, and quality infrastructure.

Vienna has taken the top rank, followed by Copenhagen, Zurich, and Calgary. 

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Vancouver, Geneva, Frankfurt, Toronto, and Amsterdam follow, with Osaka and Melbourne tied for 10th place.

Damascus — the capital of Syria — sits squarely in last place as social unrest, terrorism, and conflict hold back education and health care access. Lagos, in second-to-last place, ties with Damascus on stability while ranking worse for health care and education.

Tripoli in Libya, Algiers in Algeria, and Karachi in Pakistan round off the bottom five.

Cities in Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and Iran similarly all feature in the index’s bottom 10. 

"Wars, conflicts, and terrorism are the biggest factors weighing down the 10 lowest-ranked cities, of which seven are from the Middle East and Africa,” the report reads. “ Encouragingly, however, all of the bottom 10, apart from Tripoli, have seen their score improve in the past year as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, with both Dhaka in Bangladesh and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea moving up three places each.”

While the easing of COVID-19 restrictions saw scores improve for some, it did the opposite for others.

In 2021, cities in New Zealand and Australia benefited from strict border lockdowns, which kept COVID-19 out and livability high — especially when much of the rest of the world saw floods of confirmed cases. This year, however, Wellington, Auckland, Adelaide, Perth, and Brisane were among the largest “fallers,” dropping dozens of points each.

"Although New Zealand’s lockdowns ended in December, before our survey period, its cities no longer have a COVID-19 advantage over well-vaccinated European and Canadian cities,” the report explained. “In Australia, some states were slower to lift restrictions than others. As a result, Perth and Adelaide have lost ground since last year.”

Germany’s Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Dussesdolf were the three cities to move most significantly up over the past 12 months.

The report makes a variety of predictions about factors that could impact global liveability over the next few years. 

The war in Ukraine will have widespread implications on the security of cities, the report suggests, while a potential new wave of COVID-19 cases may affect the liveability ranking of high- and middle-income cities. Sharp spikes in inflation, meanwhile, will cause disruptions to the culture and public service metrics of countless locations.

The Top 10 Most Liveable Cities:

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

10. Melbourne, Australia

The Least 10 Most Liveable Cities: 

1. Damascus, Syria

2. Lagos, Nigeria

3. Tripoli, Libya

4. Algiers, Algeria

5. Karachi, Pakistan

6. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 

7. Dhaka, Bangladesh

8. Harare, Zimbabwe 

9. Douala, Cameroon 

10. Tehran, Iran


Demand Equity

These Are the World's Top 10 Most Liveable Cities in 2022

By Madeleine Keck