February 22, 2011
The Economist Intelligence Unit has named Vancouver the world’s most liveable city for the fifth year in a row.
Vancouver netted a score of 98 out of a possible 100. The list ranks 140 cities and considers 30 factors across five general areas: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
Canada was well represented in the top ten. Toronto claimed the fourth spot with a score of 97.2, just edging out Calgary’s score 96.6, which was good enough for fifth. At the other end of the list was Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Its score was hurt by weak marks for stability, health care and infrastructure.
The report noted that mid-size cities in wealthy countries often score highest:
“Cities that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. This often fosters a broad range of recreational availability without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure. Seven of the top ten scoring cities are in Australia and Canada, where population densities of 2.88 and 3.40 people per sq km respectively compare with a global (land) average of 45.65 and a US average of 32.”
Interestingly, many of the reader comments on The Economist’s website were from people upset that Calgary placed higher than Montreal. Fun, though, to know that the debate over the Great Canadian City is often also a debate about the World’s Greatest City.
Here’s the top ten, courtesy of The Economist: