Great place to live

Two New Zealand cities rank among the top most `liveable’ cities in the world, according to an international survey published in June.

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Liveability Ranking, part of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, assesses living conditions in 140 cities around the world, taking into account stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

The survey ranked Auckland and Wellington in 12th and 23rd positions respectively. To put that into perspective, London ranked 51st and the highest-ranking US city started in 30th place.

Vancouver topped the list with a rating of 98 per cent. Only petty crime and the availability of good-quality housing present any challenges, according to the report. Zimbabwe’s capital city Harare was at the other end of the scale at 37.5 per cent, “thanks to the unfolding crisis in Zimbabwe.”

Across the ditch, Melbourne ranked the highest of any Australian city, in third place behind Vancouver (Canada) and Vienna (Austria). Perth was equal fifth with Calgary in Canada, while Sydney shared ninth place with Zurich in Switzerland.

The Economic Intelligence Unit notes there is little real difference within the top ten.

Sydney and Zurich, in joint ninth ranking, have a score just 2% lower than that for Vancouver.

Any city with a rating of 80 or more will have few, if any, challenges to living standards, while any city with a score of 50 or less will present ‘daily challenges’ to living standards.

The Economist Intelligence Unit is a branch of The Economist Group, publisher of the London-based weekly news magazine The Economist.