For the first time in seven years Melbourne has been knocked from the top of the The Global Liveability Index. The ranking, produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit, has put Vienna, Austria, in the top position for 2018, moving Melbourne to second place.
The upset comes as Sydney rises significantly through the ranking, up to fifth position from 11th last year.
Although both Melbourne and Vienna showed improvements in liveability over the last six months, increases in Vienna’s ratings, particularly in the stability category, put it just above Melbourne. The two cities are now separated by 0.7 of a percentage point, with Vienna scoring a near-ideal 99.1 out of 100 and Melbourne scoring 98.4.
Melbourne’s seven consecutive years at the top were a record for the Index, and it’s Vienna’s first time in the top position.
Sydney was joined by Adelaide in the tenth position – tying Australia with Canada for the most cities in the top ten (three apiece).
The livability score is reached through category weights, which are equally divided into relevant subcategories to ensure the score covers as many indicators as possible. Indicators are scored as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. These are then weighted to produce a rating, where 100 means that liveability in a city is ideal and one means that it is intolerable.
Perth fell from the top ten – dropping from seventh to 14th – as did Auckland (from eighth to 12th). It should be noted that ranking movements do not necessarily arise from a change in liveability in the cities themselves, but reflect how cities compare with one another. Neither of these cities saw their overall scores drop; they were affected by the changes of the cities ranking around them.
Sydney scored 97.4 per cent on the Index. Like Melbourne it dropped points in the stability and the culture and environment categories, but scoring a perfect 100 per cent in healthcare, education and infrastructure. Adelaide scored 96.6 per cent, only receiving 100 per cent in the healthcare and education categories.