The value of US merchandise imports by state 2021

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Ranked: The most and least liveable cities in 2022

Pandemic restrictions have altered the livability of many urban centers around the world, as cultural sites have been closed, restaurants have been restricted and local economies have suffered 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 card uses rankings from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to show the world’s most livable cities, measuring different categories including: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

A quick note on methodology

The ranking attempts to assess which cities around the world offer the best living conditions, by assigning a score to 30 quantitative and qualitative measures in the five categories with the following weightings:

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

Of the 30 factors in these categories, qualitative factors are classified as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable by a team of expert analysts. Quantitative measures receive a score based on a number of external data points. Everything is then weighted to provide a score between 1 and 100, with 100 being ideal.

Ranked: The 10 most livable cities

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

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

Rank Town Country Score
#1 Vienna 🇦🇹 Austria 99.1
#2 Copenhagen 🇩🇰 Denmark 98.0
#3 Zürich 🇨🇭 Switzerland 96.3
#3 Calgary 🇨🇦 Canada 96.3
#5 Vancouver 🇨🇦 Canada 96.1
#6 Geneva 🇨🇭 Switzerland 95.9
#seven Frankfurt 🇩🇪 Germany 95.7
#8 Toronto 🇨🇦 Canada 95.4
#9 amsterdam 🇳🇱 Netherlands 95.3
#ten Osaka 🇯🇵 Japan 95.1
#ten melbourne 🇦🇺 Australia 95.1

Only one Asian city, Osaka, is in the top 10, tied with Melbourne for 10th place. Notably, not a single US city is in the top ranks.

Editor’s note: Two cities are tied for #3 and #10, which means that the “top 10” list actually includes 12 cities.

Ranked: The 10 least livable cities

Some of the least livable cities in the world are located in Africa and Central Asia.

Rank Town Country Score
#163 Tehran iran 44.0
#164 Douala 🇨🇲 Cameroon 43.3
#165 Harare 🇿🇼 Zimbabwe 40.9
#166 Dhaka 🇧🇩Bangladesh 39.2
#167 Port Moresby 🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea 38.8
#168 Karachi 🇵🇰 Pakistan 37.5
#169 Alger 🇩🇿 Algeria 37.0
#170 Tripoli 🇱🇾 Libya 34.2
#171 Lagos 🇳🇬 Nigeria 32.2
#172 Damascus 🇸🇾 Syria 30.7

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 plenty of opportunities for ambitious residents.

Biggest Ranking Changes

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

Up: The 10 Most Improved Cities

Town Country General classification Change of rank
Frankfurt 🇩🇪 Germany #seven +32
Hamburg 🇩🇪 Germany #16 +31
Dusseldorf 🇩🇪 Germany #22 +28
London 🇬🇧 United Kingdom #33 +27
Manchester 🇬🇧 United Kingdom #28 +26
Paris 🇬🇧France #19 +23
Brussels 🇧🇪 Belgium #24 +22
amsterdam 🇳🇱 Netherlands #9 +21
Athens 🇬🇷 Greece #73 +19
Los Angeles 🇺🇸 US #37 +18

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

Descent: 10 cities that collapsed

Town Country General classification Change of rank
Wellington 🇳🇿 New Zealand #50 -46
Auckland 🇳🇿 New Zealand #34 -33
Adelaide 🇦🇺 Australia #30 -27
Perth 🇦🇺 Australia #32 -26
Houston 🇺🇸 US #56 -25
Reykjavík 🇮🇸 Iceland #48 -25
Madrid 🇪🇸 Spain #43 -24
taipei 🇹🇼 Taiwan #53 -20
Barcelona 🇪🇸 Spain #35 -19
Brisbane 🇦🇺 Australia #27 -17

According to the report, a number of cities in New Zealand and Australia temporarily dropped in the rankings due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It should also be noted that some cities in Eastern Europe have dropped in the rankings due to their proximity to the war in Ukraine. Finally, Kyiv was not included in this year’s report due to the conflict.

Urbanization and Habitability

In 2021, approximately 57% of the world’s population Lives in urban centers and projections show that people around the world will continue to move to cities.

Although there are more facilities in urban areas, the pandemic has revealed many problems with urbanization and the concentration of large populations. The strain on health systems is felt most intensely in cities and restrictions on public outings are among the first measures to be introduced in the face of a global health crisis.

Today, with the rising cost of living, cities may face pressures on their quality of life and governments may be forced to cut spending on public services. Either way, people around the world continue to see the benefits of city living – it’s projected that more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050.

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