10 most livable cities in the world; Vienna, Copenhagen top list: EIU

Vienna, Austria is the wrold’s most “liveable” city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2024 Global Liveability Index.

Alexander Spatari | Moment | Getty Images

For the third year in a row, Vienna, the capital of Austria, is the world’s most livable city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The annual report aims to show how comfortable or livable a city and examined 173 cities globally based on 30 indicators organized into five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Boosted by its perfect scores for stability, health care, education and infrastructure, Vienna led this year’s list, followed closely by its Western European counterparts: Copenhagen, Denmark in second place and Zurich, Switzerland in third.

Vienna’s overall score, although landing highest on the list, took a minor hit in the culture and environment categories, “owing to a lack of major sporting events,” according to the EIU Global Liveability Index for 2024.

“EIU’s Liveability Index has risen fractionally over the past year,” the report said. “Declines in stability and infrastructure across a number of cities in advanced economies were offset by structural improvements in healthcare and education in several cities in developing markets.”

Here are the 10 most livable cities in the world, according to EIU.

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Melbourne, Australia
  5. Calgary, Canada
  6. Geneva, Switzerland
  7. Sydney, Australia
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Osaka, Japan
  10. Auckland, New Zealand

Four Asia-Pacific cities made it to this year’s top 10: Australian cities Melbourne and Sydney, as well as Osaka, Japan and Auckland, New Zealand.

Melbourne, Sydney and Vancouver made the top 10 this year, but slipped “amid a significant shortfall in housing availability,” the EIU said. For the same reason, Toronto fell to 12th place this year, after ranking among the top 10 in the previous two years.

Western Europe was the best-performing region for livability globally, scoring an overall 92 out of 100, however, it has dropped since last year due to an increase in protests and crime which weighed on the stability category, according to the report.

North America was the second best region, scoring an average of 90.5 out of 100, and ranking highest for education. However, the ongoing housing crisis in Canada has dragged down the region’s infrastructure scores, EIU said.

10 most livable cities in Asia

Asian cities continue to grow in their livability scores globally. Notably, Hong Kong recorded the biggest jump in this year’s study, moving up from 61st place to 50th in rank.

“Although not quite back to its pre-2019 scores, Hong Kong’s political landscape has [stabilized], with the risks of disruptions from mass protests now negligible,” according to the EIU.

“The national security law and local regulations introduced earlier in 2024 have restored political stability, but this change in score reflects a huge tradeoff to Hong Kong civil society, as evidenced by the city’s plunging score in our separately published Democracy Index,” the EIU said.

Asia’s 10 most livable cities:

  • Melbourne, Australia (4th globally)
  • Sydney, Australia (7th)
  • Osaka, Japan (9th tie)
  • Auckland, New Zealand (9th tie)
  • Adelaide, Australia (11th)
  • Tokyo, Japan (14th)
  • Perth, Australia (15th)
  • Brisbane, Australia (16th)
  • Wellington, New Zealand (20th)
  • Singapore, Singapore (26th)

Singapore, which ranked 26th in the world, also recorded a big jump, and was the second biggest mover upwards in the last 12 months. Notably, the tiny Southeast Asian nation scored a perfect 100 in the health-care category.

The Japanese cities of Osaka and Tokyo also made the top 10 list for Asia. “As the most populous among the top 20 cities, Tokyo deserves the additional credit of being able to maintain high standards of public service provision and security across an enormous population,” the EIU said.

Indian cities, however, have declined in livability scores, due in part to the country’s poor air quality. “Infrastructure development is also a priority for the government, but given the country’s size and geography, it will take time to improve,” according to the EIU.

“Of the 58 Asian cities in the index, 16 have attained the highest level of liveability (score above 80),” said Barsali Bhattacharyya, deputy industry director at EIU.

“However, 11 Asian cities received scores below 60, at which point we define liveability as becoming seriously constrained, as these cities struggle with structural, political and climatic problems that are hard to overcome,” she said.

The stability category recorded the biggest decline out of all five categories this year, held back by geopolitical conflict, civil unrest, as well as the ongoing housing crisis and crime seen across many cities included in the survey, according to the report.

Least livable cities

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