Passengers alight a public tram in front of the Vienna State Opera in Vienna. (Photographer: Lisi Niesner/Bloomberg)

Vienna Snatches Melbourne’s Crown as World’s Most Liveable City

(Bloomberg) -- Vienna has ended Melbourne’s seven-year reign as the world’s most liveable city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The Austrian capital scored a near perfect score of 99.1 out of 100 in the index, whose criteria include stability, healthcare and the environment. Cities in Australia and Canada took six of the top 10 spots, with the U.S. again missing out.

Big financial centers such as London (48th) and New York (57th) suffer from their own success, according to the EIU, with overstretched public transport, higher levels of crime and congestion denting their appeal. Hong Kong (35th) just edged out its local rival Singapore (37th) on the index after improving on stability scores.

Elsewhere in Asia, Osaka (3rd) and Tokyo (7th) both climbed the rankings to their highest position in more than a decade on consistent declines in crime rates and improvements in public transport.

The world’s 10 most liveable cities: 

1. Vienna, Austria
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Osaka, Japan
4. Calgary, Canada
5. Sydney, Australia
6. Vancouver, Canada
7. Toronto, Canada
8. Tokyo, Japan
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
10. Adelaide, Australia

Most of the best-performing spots are mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with relatively low population density.

At the bottom end of the table of 140 cities, the lowest-scoring is war-torn Damascus. Those suffering from inadequate infrastructure such as Harare, or in the case of Dhaka, severe pollution, also fare badly.

And the 10 least liveable...

131. Dakar, Senegal
132. Algiers, Algeria
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Tripoli, Libya
135. Harare, Zimbabwe
136. Port Moresby, PNG
137. Karachi, Pakistan
138. Lagos, Nigeria
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Damascus, Syria

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