The Global Population Over 300 Years, by Country

Ranking: The most livable and least livable cities in 2022

Pandemic restrictions have transformed the quality of life in many urban centers around the world, as cultural sites have closed, restaurants have been restricted and local economies have to deal with the consequences. But as cities around the world return to the status quo, many of these urban centers have once again become desirable places to live.

This map uses annual rankings from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to show the world’s most livable cities, measuring various categories including: Stability, Healthcare, Culture and Environment, Education and Infrastructure.

A quick note on the methodology

The ranking attempts to assess which cities around the world offer the best living conditions by assessing 30 quantitative and qualitative metrics across five categories with the following weights:

  1. Healthcare (20%)
  2. Culture & Environment (25%)
  3. Stability (25%)
  4. Education (10%)
  5. Infrastructure (20%)

Of the 30 factors within these categories, the qualitative ones are rated by an expert panel as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable, or intolerable. Quantitative measures receive a score based on a set of external data points. Everything is then weighted to give a score between 1 and 100, with 100 being the ideal.

Ranking: The 10 most livable cities

Of the 172 cities in the ranking, many of the most livable cities can be found in Europe. However, three of the top 10 are in Canada: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto.

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Vienna has been ranked number one several times, most recently in 2019. According to the EIU, the Austrian capital only dropped from the top spot during the pandemic years because its famous museums and restaurants were closed.

rank city country score
#1 Vienna ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria 99.1
#2 Copenhagen ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark 98.0
#3 Zurich ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland 96.3
#3 Calgary ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada 96.3
#5 Vancouver ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada 96.1
#6 Geneva ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland 95.9
#7 Frankfurt Germany 95.7
#8th Toronto ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada 95.4
#9 Amsterdam ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands 95.3
#10 osaka ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan 95.1
#10 Melbourne ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia 95.1

Only one Asian city, Osaka, makes the top 10 list, tied for 10th with Melbourne. Remarkably, there is not a single US city in the top rankings.

Editor’s Note: Two cities are 3rd and 10th, meaning that the “Top 10” list actually includes 12 cities.

Ranking: The 10 least livable cities

Some of the world’s most livable cities are located across Africa and Central Asia.

rank city country score
#163 Tehran ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Iran 44.0
#164 Duala ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Cameroon 43.3
#165 Harare ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ Zimbabwe 40.9
#166 dhaka ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh 39.2
#167 Moresby Harbour ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌ Papua New Guinea 38.8
#168 Karachi ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan 37.5
#169 Algiers ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria 37.0
#170 Tripoli ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ Libya 34.2
#171 Lagos ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Nigeria 32.2
#172 Damascus ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ Syria 30.7
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Many of the least livable cities are in conflict zones, which contributes to the low ratings. However, these regions are also home to some of the fastest growing cities in the world, offering many opportunities for ambitious residents.

The biggest changes in the ranking

Let’s take a look at the cities that have risen the most in the global ranking compared to last year’s data.

Level Up: The 10 Best Improved Cities

city country overall ranking rank change
Frankfurt Germany #7 +32
Hamburg Germany #16 +31
Dusseldorf Germany #22 +28
London ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Great Britain #33 +27
Manchester ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Great Britain #28 +26
Paris ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France #19 +23
Brussels ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium #24 +22
Amsterdam ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands #9 +21
Athens ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece #73 +19
los Angeles ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง US #37 +18

Here’s a look at the cities that have fallen the most in the rankings since last year’s report.

Move Down: The 10 Cities That Fell

city country overall ranking rank change
wellington ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand #50 -46
Auckland ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand #34 -33
Adelaide ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia #30 -27
perth ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia #32 -26
Houston ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง US #56 -25
Reykjavik ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland #48 -25
Madrid ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain #43 -24
Taipei ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผTaiwan #53 -20
Barcelona ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain #35 -19
Brisbane ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia #27 -17
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According to the report, a number of cities in New Zealand and Australia temporarily fell back in the rankings due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s also worth noting that some Eastern European cities fell down the rankings due to their proximity to the war in Ukraine. Finally, because of the conflict, Kyiv was not included in this year’s report.

urbanization and quality of life

From 2021 approx 57% of the world’s population lives in urban centers and projections show that people around the world will continue to move to cities.

While there are more amenities in urban areas, the pandemic has uncovered many issues with urbanization and the concentration of large populations. The strain on healthcare systems is being felt most in cities, and curbing public outings is among the first measures introduced amid a global health crisis.

Now that the cost of living is rising, cities could be under pressure on their quality of life and governments could be forced to cut spending on public services. Regardless, people around the world continue to see the benefits of city living โ€” by 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population is projected to live in cities.