Vancouver has been named the fifth most livable city in the world, rebounding into the top 10 after falling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Its livability score was calculated by The Economist Intelligence Unit in its annual Global Livability Report, which was released this week. He ranked 172 cities around the world according to their living conditions in five categories: stability, health, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
Canadian and Western European cities dominated the top spots in the rankings this year as COVID-19 restrictions ease and life returns to almost normal. With increased freedom, livability rankings now look like they did before the pandemic, although the values haven’t quite climbed back to 2018 levels.
Vienna, Austria returned to the top spot as the most livable city in the world, with near-perfect scores in the analyzed criteria. Behind Vienna came Copenhagen, Zurich and Calgary.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a major factor in weakening the livability scores of Eastern European cities, and the report omitted Kyiv from the rankings entirely due to the ongoing war. in the Ukrainian capital.
“Increased censorship accompanies the ongoing conflict,” the report said. “Russian cities are additionally experiencing cultural and environmental restrictions due to Western economic sanctions – the effects of which will likely be more apparent in our next survey. Other Eastern European cities, such as Warsaw (Poland) and Budapest (Hungary), also saw their stability scores fall amid heightened diplomatic tensions.
No Canadian city made the top 10 in 2021 as COVID-19 restrictions drove down livability scores across much of North America. At this time last year, cities in New Zealand, Australia and Japan topped the livability index.
“The two countries [Australia and New Zealand] benefited in early 2021, when COVID-19 vaccines were scarce: their closed borders reduced cases, keeping quality of life high,” the report said. “However, that changed when a more infectious wave of COVID-19 hit in late 2021, which made closed borders less of a defence.”
Vancouver is often ranked in the top 10 for livability, ranking sixth for 2019 and 2018. In 2017, Vancouver was ranked third on the list.
The report notes that high inflation could lead to a cost-of-living crisis in many cities around the world, which could lower livability rankings in time for next year’s report.
“EIU is waiting for the active phase of the war [in Ukraine] continue into 2022 before giving way to more entrenched hostility. Even without escalation, the conflict will continue to fuel global inflation and dampen economic growth,” he said.
“Rising global commodity prices, particularly for energy and food, will weigh on the quality of life in many cities in the coming months and could trigger conflict in some.”