Vancouver is sixth most "livable" city in the world, says annual report

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      An annual global survey has once again ranked Vancouver among the 10 most “livable” cities in the world.

      Conducted by the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the report ranks 140 cities according to numeric scores—each out of a possible 100—in five categories: stability, which is based on local rates of crime, terrorism, and military unrest; culture and environment, which considers factors like the weather and the quality of a region’s food and drink options; infrastructure, which includes public transport and the availability of “good quality housing”; and healthcare and education.

      Vancouver took sixth place on the list with an average overall rating of 97.3, falling three spots from its third-place position in 2017’s survey. Calgary (97.5) is the highest-ranking Canadian city in third place, with Toronto (97.2) tying Tokyo for seventh.

      Vienna (99.1) tops this year’s index, beating second-place Melbourne (98.4), which held the first-place spot for seven years. Osaka, Sydney, Copenhagen, and Adelaide round out the top 10.

      The world’s 10 least livable cities, meanwhile, include Damascus, Syria; Lagos, Nigeria; and Karachi, Pakistan, all of which recorded significantly low scores in the stability category.

      In March, Vancouver was named the top North American city for quality of life and infrastructure in another global survey conducted by international consulting agency Mercer.

      However, a housing-affordability report released last fall had Vancouver in its top spot, thanks to a large gap between median home sale prices and median family incomes in the region that was wider than those observed in cities such as New York and San Francisco. A study published in January also ranked Vancouver as the third most unaffordable city in the world.

      The EIU, which is the research-and-analysis division of the sister company that publishes The Economist newspaper, conducts its annual liveability survey to keep its business and governmental clients apprised of how the world is changing, and the opportunities and risks that such changes may present. It defines livability simply as which locations around the world “provide the best or worst living conditions”.

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.