Most liveable cities 2023: London and Edinburgh fall in rankings - list of top cities

Global Liveability Index has revealed the most liveable cities in the world in its 2023 rankings.
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London and Edinburgh have fallen in their rankings on the newly-released 2023 Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The EIU, a sister organisation to The Economist, ranked 173 cities around the world on a number of significant factors, including health care, education, stability, infrastructure and environment.

The report, which was released on Thursday (June 22), saw London decline by 12 places, landing at the 46th spot while Scottish capital Edinburgh, which debuted at No. 35 in 2022, slipped to the 58th place this year, alongside Stockholm, the capital of Sweden that dropped 22 spots to 43rd position.

According to the report, health care scores have improved the most, while those for education, culture and entertainment, and infrastructure are also higher. The average index score across 172 cities (eliminating Kyiv in Ukraine) has now reached 76.2 out of 100, the highest score in 15 years.

The report reads: “None of these cities has seen a particularly sharp decline in their index scores, but they have failed to make the gains that many other cities – particularly those in Asia – have made in the past year.”

Often referred to as the "city of dreams," Vienna maintained its top position as the most liveable city worldwide, earning recognition for its reliable infrastructure, vibrant culture and entertainment scene, and excellent education and health services.

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, closely followed in second place. Melbourne and Sydney, both in Australia, made significant comebacks, securing the third and fourth positions respectively after dropping in previous years.

Meanwhile, Canada had a strong representation in the top 10 with Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto making the list. Zurich in Switzerland ranked sixth, while Geneva tied with Calgary for seventh place. Osaka rounded out the top 10, benefiting from improved culture and environment ratings due to the easing of Covid-related restrictions.

Decline in stability

However, stability has suffered a “marginal” decline due to “instances of civil unrest in many cities amid a cost-of-living crisis, as well as an uptick in crime in some cities.” Barsali Bhattacharyya, Industry Research Manager, EIU said: “Of the five categories covered by our index, only stability has seen a decline.

London and Edinburgh have fallen in their rankings on the newly-released 2023 Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). London and Edinburgh have fallen in their rankings on the newly-released 2023 Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
London and Edinburgh have fallen in their rankings on the newly-released 2023 Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

“Strains on public order and economic headwinds have also increased instances of crime in some cities, and this will continue to be a risk for the future. All of this suggests that stability scores in our Liveability Index are unlikely to recover quickly.”

The bottom of the list remained mostly unchanged, with cities grappling with ongoing civil unrest, military conflicts, and other issues receiving the lowest scores. Algiers in Algeria, Tripoli in Libya, and Damascus in Syria ranked as the three least liveable cities globally, with Damascus consistently ranking poorly.

Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, fell among the 10 least liveable cities due to the impact of the war following Russia’s invasion, affecting liveability across several European cities.

Vienna maintained its top position as the most liveable city worldwide, earning recognition for its reliable infrastructure, vibrant culture and entertainment scene, and excellent education and health services. Vienna maintained its top position as the most liveable city worldwide, earning recognition for its reliable infrastructure, vibrant culture and entertainment scene, and excellent education and health services.
Vienna maintained its top position as the most liveable city worldwide, earning recognition for its reliable infrastructure, vibrant culture and entertainment scene, and excellent education and health services.

2023’s Global Liveability Index: The top 10

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Melbourne, Australia

4. Sydney, Australia

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Zurich, Switzerland

7. Calgary, Canada

7. Geneva, Switzerland

9. Toronto, Canada

10. Osaka, Japan