Canberra takes the mantle as Australia’s most liveable city

Melbourne has for many years been regarded as Australia’s most liveable city. However, new data from and Ipsos reveals that, when it comes to how residents actually feel about where they live, Canberra comes out on top.

The Life in Australia report, powered by Ipsos, is the nation’s largest annual ongoing study of community values and liveability.

The report explores what lifestyle attributes Australians consider to be the most important when choosing somewhere to live, as well as examining how people feel about where they currently live.

The report data is indexed to create an overall liveability ranking based on how local residents perceive their city and its most important attributes.

Canberra has ranked as Australia’s most liveable city, a title it has maintained for three years running. Perth leapt to second, after Hobart saw a sharp decline to fifth due to sentiment around the affordability of property as a result of the recent pricing boom.

The five most important attributes Australians value include feeling safe (67%), high-quality health services (60%), affordable decent housing (58%), good job prospects (41%) and reliable and efficient public transport (33%).

These top five values remain fairly consistent across major capital cities on the east coast; however, in Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Darwin, reliable public transport is less important than access to the natural environment. People in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide value reliable public transport more than access to high-quality education opportunities.

How safe Australians feel in their local community has considerably declined over the past five years, dropping from an average of 6.9/10 in 2014 to 6.5/10 in 2018. Melburnians (6.1/10) feel least safe in their local area, followed by Perth (6.5) and Adelaide (6.5) residents. Hobart dwellers felt most safe, rating their local areas 7.4/10 on average.

This can likely be attributed to the level of media reporting around crime and terror locally and globally.  Unsurprisingly, due to Australia’s recent property boom, the report revealed that Australians feel like they are lacking affordable decent housing.

Of the sixteen attributes measured in the study, affordable decent housing performed the lowest, showing a steep decline from 2018 to 2019 – with the national average sitting at 4.9/10.

Sydneysiders’ rated their local area 3.9/10 on average, followed by Canberrans (4.4) and Melburnians (4.5). Residents of Adelaide scored their local area best regarding affordable decent housing, averaging 5.6/10.

Despite median house prices stabilising, the recent Banking Royal Commission and upcoming Federal election have caused uncertainty in the market, causing both buyers and sellers to hold back.

It’s not all bad news, however. Australia’s unemployment rate is at the lowest recorded rate in history, and Australians are feeling more positive towards access to good job prospects and a prosperous economy.

You can access the full report here.

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