The 10 Best Cities to Live in the World

Melbourne, Australia, loses the crown after a 7-year run.

By Megan Trimble, Associate Editor, Social Media

VIENNA HAS USURPED Melbourne, Australia, as the world’s most “livable” city.

Austria‘s capital city ended Melbourne’s record 7-year run atop the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual index, titled “The Global Liveability Report 2018.” The ranking considers 30 qualitative and quantitative factors to rank 140 cities in order of best living conditions. Those factors include benchmarks such as health care, education, infrastructure, stability and culture/environment, among others. The cities are scored overall from ideal to intolerable on a 100-point scale.

“Although both Melbourne and Vienna have registered improvements in liveability over the last six months, increases in Vienna’s ratings, particularly in the stability category, have been enough for the city to overtake Melbourne,” the report explains.

The cities are separated by just 0.7 of a percentage point, with Vienna scoring 99.1 in the assessment and Melbourne ranking second with a 98.4 rating. Vienna and Melbourne each scored perfectly in the areas of health care, education and infrastructure.

Australian and Canadian cities boasted strong showings in the ranking, with three cities apiece in the top 10. It may come as no surprise that both countries also ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s leading Best Countries. Canada also finished No. 1 in the 2018 Best Countries’ Quality of Life sub-ranking, and Australia ranked No. 5.

Japan’s Osaka and Tokyo, and Denmark’s Copenhagen also appeared at the top of the list at Nos. 3, 7 (tied) and 9, respectively.

As for America, “civil unrest is also on the decline in US cities, which are no longer experiencing the same level of mass protests related to political decisions from the previously nascent presidency of Donald Trump,” the report notes. Still, cities in the United States did not rank in the top 15, according to the index. Honolulu scored the highest rating for the U.S., ranking No. 23 overall.

Cities that ranked the lowest in the index were marked by terrorism and civil unrest, according to the index. In the most extreme cases, the cities were plagued by civil war. Damascus, Syria, was once again viewed as the least livable with a 30.7 overall rating.