Canada has lost the bragging rights to having some of the best cities in the world for livability. Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released their Global Liveability Index for 2021. New Zealand managed to claim the top spot, with Japan and Switzerland not too far behind.
Canada dropped out of the Top 10 for the first time in decades. Instead, the country found itself ranking in the list of fastest falling cities. Over in the US, the smaller city hype is apparently very real. Cities that managed to attract Millennials during the pandemic are amongst the fastest rising on the list. Here’s a quick look at some of the biggest takeaways.
Yes, the Economist spells it “Liveable,” and not “livable.”
New Zealand, Japan, and Australia Top The List of Livable Cities
None of the Top 10 cities were in North America, and only one European city managed to make the list. New Zealand scored two of the spots, with Auckland winning the title of most livable city in the world.
Japan managed to score two spots as well. Osaka came in second, and Tokyo ranked fourth. Both cities managed to work their way into the list in 2018. They’ve ranked amongst the most livable cities ever since.
Australia managed to score the most spots in the Top 10 list, with four cities ranking. Adelaide (#3), Perth (#6), Melbourne (#8), and Brisbane (#10). The country has managed to rank a few cities going back to at least 2015.
Switzerland is the only European country in the Top 10. Actually, it’s the only country in the West to be able to score a spot near the top of the list. Zurich ranked in seventh, with Geneva following in the eighth spot. This is the first time the country landed a Top 10 spot since 2015.
Canada Falls Out of The Top 10 Livable Cities, Ranks For Fastest Falling On The List
Notably absent from the top of the list is Canada, which had dominated in prior years. This is the first year going back to at least 2002 where there are no Canadian cities in the Top 10. Going back to at least 2015, three cities rank — Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Vancouver even topped the list from 2002 to 2010, as the most livable city in the world. That changed almost as quickly as the country’s real estate prices have been rising.
Canada did make one of the Economist’s top lists this year — the fastest deteriorating cities in the world. Montreal managed to drop to number 40 from their previous list, which is a drop of 19 spots. This made it the 10th fastest falling city on the list.
The US Dominates The List of Fastest Improving Cities
The United States didn’t make the Top 10 list, but dominated the list for the fastest-rising cities. Seven of the top ten fastest-rising cities for livability were in the country: Honolulu (#14), Houston (#31), Miami (#28), Pittsburgh (#25), Chicago (#28), Minneapolis (#36), and Boston (#34). These cities have notably been making the news for attracting residents of more expensive cities, like San Francisco and New York.
Rounding out the fastest climbing cities on the list were in the countries of Spain and Australia. Madrid was the third fastest-rising, and Barcelona was sixth. Melbourne, which broke the top 10 list, was the tenth.
The Liveability Index ranks cities on stability, healthcare, education, culture and environment, and infrastructure. The pandemic had a very large shift on where cities ranked in the index. North American cities plummeted on the list, as they exposed their weaknesses. The Economist said this was primarily due to the heightened stress on healthcare resources.
The US cities that were the fastest rising on the list, also happened to have the fewest pandemic restrictions. This helped to lure young adults from traditionally expensive cities, as well as many of their employers. This is likely to lead to a larger and more long-lasting shift than most think.
Once the pandemic is over, things should begin to become a little more balanced. Just don’t expect things to go back to the way they were, because the talent has already been hemorrhaged.
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