The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2022 Global Quality of Living Index released today named Melbourne Australia’s most livable city and the 10th most livable citye in the world, as it dropped Adelaide by 27 places – the third biggest ranking drop of any city.
The European cities of Vienna, Copenhagen and Zurich took the top three spots in this year’s EIU index, followed by Calgary and Vancouver in Canada.
The 2021 index placed Adelaide third in the world and highest in Australia, ahead of Perth (6e), Melbourne (8e), Brisbane (10e) and Sydney (11e)
But now Adelaide (30e) ranks behind Melbourne (10e), Sydney (13e) and Brisbane (27e). The South Australian capital still ranks just ahead of Perth (32n/a).
The EIU index ranks 172 cities around the world according to the five categories of stability, health care, education, culture and environment, and infrastructure.
Adelaide’s overall score across all five categories fell from 94.0 to 90.7. Last year’s index gave Adelaide a perfect score of 100/100 on healthcare.
The EIU said the fall in the ranking of Australian capitals was due to the continued imposition of COVID-19 restrictions as Europe moved away from the pandemic.
“In Australia, some states have been slower to lift restrictions than others,” the report said.
“As a result, Perth and Adelaide have lost ground since last year, and Melbourne is once again Australia’s highest ranked city. Adjusting policy dynamically will remain key to staying on top.
Adelaide’s 27-place drop was beaten only by Wellington (4e at 50e) and Auckland (1st at 34e). Perth and Brisbane also fell 26 and 17 places respectively.
Frankfurt (39e at 7e), Hamburg (47e at 16e) and Dusseldorf (50e at 22n/a) were the biggest contributors to the index, while London also gained 27 places from 60e at 33rd.
“A rollback of covid-19 restrictions resulted in livability rankings resembling those seen before the pandemic,” the EIU said.
“Cities in Western Europe and Canada dominate the top of our ranking. Life has almost returned to normal in these cities due to high vaccination rates against covid-19 and the easing of restrictions.
Adelaide’s lost status as Australia’s most livable city has been regularly touted by politicians and industry bodies over the past 12 months.
I think if we’re going to make a big song and dance about being the most livable city in the country… you can’t just ignore it when it’s going against you.
The Adelaide Committee, a think tank that currently describes itself as “making Australia’s most livable city”, said of last year’s third-place finisher that “our only surprise… is that we have not arrived higher”.
Former Adelaide Committee CEO Jodie van Deventer said at the time: “Our city’s brand is stronger than ever and our potential to attract global business and talent is enormous as international borders begin to open.”
Today, the committee’s current CEO, Bruce Djite, said “there are going to be a lot of websites to change, including ourselves.”
“We probably shouldn’t have done this so much when we were the third most livable in the world because it’s going to be a bit of a recalibration of the websites for sure,” he said.
“From the perspective of the Adelaide committee, we want to be the best in housing, and The Economist is only one point of reference among others.
“But I think if we’re going to do a big song and dance about being the most livable city in the country on the back of The Economist last year’s report, you can’t just dismiss it when it goes against you.
“We’re going to change our website for sure, but that doesn’t change what we’re trying to do.”
Djite said the ranking was also “a good way to stay alert and ensure that we continue to progress and evolve.”
“Or else at the end of the day we will continue to fall further and further down the rankings,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a bit of an anomaly, we were so high last time and we handled COVID so well, in The Economist view, we fell so quickly this time because they didn’t feel like we handled COVID as well.
“But I think the underlying narrative from our point of view is that there is pressure anyway – we live in a competitive world.
“If you’re not scaling, if you’re not at the forefront of technology, if you’re not innovative, if you’re not at the forefront of change and innovation, you’ll fall further back. “
Property Council executive director Daniel Gannon, another prominent supporter of Adelaide’s EIU position, said today the city does not need a ranking to support its value proposition .
“The easy answer would be to shout negativity from the rooftops, but that doesn’t help for a number of reasons and will damage trust,” he said.
“Adelaide’s ranking as Australia’s most livable city may have come to an end, but we should use this moment to regain the world’s attention.
“Throughout the pandemic, Adelaide’s value proposition as an attractive place to live, work, invest and play has become more pronounced – and we don’t need a ranking to support or celebrate that. change.”
He also fired on Melbourne, saying it was ‘almost laughable that Melbourne finished higher on this index given that the Victorians spent almost 300 days locked down compared to ten days in South Australia’.
At the other end of the ranking, Damascus, Lagos and Tripoli are ranked as the least livable cities in the world. The Ukrainian capital kyiv was excluded from the list due to the Russian invasion.
Melbourne was ranked as the most livable city in the world from 2011 to 2017 before Vienna took over from 2018 to 2019.
The 10 most livable cities in the world (2022)
- Vienna, Austria (99.1)
- Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0)
- Zürich, Switzerland (96.3)
- Calgary, Canada (96.3)
- Vancouver, Canada (96.1)
- Geneva, Switzerland (95.9)
- Frankfurt, Germany (95.7)
- Toronto, Canada (95.4)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (95.3)
- Osaka, Japan and Melbourne, Australia (95.1)
The 10 most livable cities in the world (2021)
- Auckland, New Zealand (96.0)
- Osaka, Japan (94.2)
- Adelaide, Australia (94.0)
- Wellington, New Zealand (93.7)
- Tokyo, Japan (93.7)
- Perth, Australia (93.3)
- Zürich, Switzerland (92.8)
- Geneva, Switzerland (92.5)
- Melbourne, Australia (92.5)
- Brisbane, Australia (92.4)
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