According to the August 2011 Global Liveability Survey prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Melbourne has nudged long-time front-runner Vancouver to be rated the world's most liveable city. The Australian metropolis topped the Global Liveability Survey's ranking of 140 cities worldwide, ahead of Canada's Vancouver which dominated the rankings for almost a decade but is now third behind the Austrian capital, Vienna.
Australian cities featured prominently in the top 10, with Sydney ranked sixth and Perth and Adelaide in joint eighth place, according to the survey, which is conducted twice a year. Canada also did well, with Toronto and Calgary holding fourth and fifth places respectively. Helsinki in Finland (seventh) and New Zealand's Auckland (tenth) rounded out the top 10.
Cities were scored on political and social stability, crime rates, access to quality health care, cultural events, the environment, education and the standard of infrastructure.
Among other well-known cities, Paris came 16th, two places ahead of Tokyo. The top-ranked American city was Honolulu which came 26th, while London was a lowly 53rd, just behind Singapore.
The Greek capital Athens dropped five places to 67th due to recent government cutbacks and protests. Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, was the least liveable city, just ahead of Dhaka in Bangladesh and the Papua New Guinea capital Port Moresby.
To purchase a copy of EIU's Global Liveability Survey, go to: http://www.eiu.com/public/topical_report.aspx?campaignid=liveabilityAug2011.