Auckland and Wellington are no. 1 and 4 in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) most liveable city globally.
The Global Liveability Index 2021 report includes the data gathered from 22 February to 21 March 2021 to rank the liveability of 140 cities globally.
As most of the world succumbed to Covid-19, several cities were able to contain the virus. The top 10 cities are from four different countries: New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Switzerland.
Tight border controls and strict nationwide lockdowns that lasted for several weeks have slowed down the spread of the virus in New Zealand. They have allowed its residents to live relatively normal lives following the lockdowns.
When cities worldwide are in various coping stages with the Covid-19, theatres, restaurants, and cultural attractions remain open in New Zealand during the survey period.
Students continue going to school, giving Auckland a perfect score for education, moving the city from 6th place in the autumn 2020 report to 1st place in its March 2021 rankings. In the previous report, Wellington city, currently holding the 4th spot, moved from 15th place.
Below are EIU’s top 10 most liveable cities in the world and their scores:
- 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)
- Zurich, Switzerland (92.8)
- Geneva, Switzerland (92.5)
- Melbourne, Australia (92.5)
- Brisbane, Australia (92.4)
The liveability index ranks cities according to their living conditions from the best to the worst. The cities’ ranking is based on scores from 30 qualitative and quantitative factors based on five broad categories: stability (25%), healthcare (20%), culture and environment 25%), education (10%), and infrastructure (20%).
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the cities’ healthcare, the effects of government lockdowns and restrictions on culture and environment, and education, the report added new indicators to assess stress and restriction levels for each city. Scores from additional indicators were integrated into healthcare, culture and environment, and educational ratings.
The pandemic has impacted the liveability scores of other cities. Many European and Canadian cities have slipped in their ranking, battling the second wave of the pandemic, restricting their cultural and sporting events, and closing their schools and restaurants.
While Asia-Pacific countries hold the top then spots for liveability, some Asian countries are also at the bottom for the least liveable cities: Port Moresby of PNG, Dhaka of Bangladesh, Karachi of Pakistan.
Living conditions and the ongoing civil unrest and military conflicts in Damascus and Syria are why these counties are at the bottom of the list.
Covid-19 will continue to affect the future liveability of cities, according to the report.
The result of the succeeding survey will depend on how countries will cope and recover from the pandemic, including the speed and efficiency of their vaccination campaigns, the resilience of their healthcare systems, and how quickly schools, cultural, sporting events, and businesses can open.