Auckland is named world's most liveable city for 2021 while London and New York fail to make top 50

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    Auckland is the most liveable city in the world for 2021, according to a new study.

    Researchers assessed 140 cities across the globe and scored them on stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education and infrastructure.

    The Japanese city of Osaka is second followed by Adelaide, Australia, in third. Neither London nor New York makes the top 50, while the least liveable city is the Syrian capital Damascus for the ninth year in a row.

    Auckland is the most liveable city in the world for 2021, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit

    Auckland is the most liveable city in the world for 2021, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit 

    The list has been compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) as part of its Global Liveability Ranking for 2021.

    According to the EIU, Auckland rose to the top of the ranking ‘owing to its successful approach in containing the Covid-19 pandemic, which allowed its society to remain open and the city to score strongly on a number of metrics, including education, culture and environment’.

    In joint fourth place is another city in New Zealand, Wellington, and the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

    Perth, Australia, is sixth followed by Zurich in seventh. The rest of the top 10 is made up of Geneva (joint eighth), Melbourne (joint eighth) and Brisbane (10th). Sydney, just missing out on the top 10, is 11th.

    The highest-ranked city in the UK is Manchester in 54th, while London is ranked 60th.

    The most highly-rated American city is Honolulu, which has risen 46 places this year to take 14th spot.

    Claiming second place in the ranking is the Japanese city of Osaka, pictured

    Claiming second place in the ranking is the Japanese city of Osaka, pictured 

    THE WORLD’S MOST LIVEABLE CITIES INDEX 2021 

    THE 10 MOST LIVEABLE

    1. Auckland, New Zealand

    2. Osaka, Japan

    3. Adelaide, Australia

    4= Wellington, New Zealand

    4= Tokyo, Japan

    6. Perth, Australia

    7. Zurich, Switzerland

    8= Geneva, Switzerland

    8= Melbourne, Australia

    10. Brisbane, Australia

    THE 10 LEAST LIVEABLE

    131. Caracas, Venezuela

    132. Douala, Cameroon

    133. Harare, Zimbabwe

    134. Karachi, Pakistan

    135. Tripoli, Libya

    136. Algiers, Algeria

    137. Dhaka, Bangladesh

    138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

    139. Lagos, Nigeria

    140. Damascus, Syria

    Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit 

    The EIU says this is due to its ‘strong progress in containing the pandemic and rolling out its vaccination programme’.

    Other US cities in the ranking are Atlanta (24th), Pittsburgh (25th), Houston (31st), Boston (34th), Minneapolis (36th), Seattle (40th), San Francisco (joint 43rd), Washington DC (joint 43rd), Cleveland (48th), Detroit (52nd), Los Angeles (55th), Lexington (56th) and New York (59th).

    The cities deemed to be the least liveable, at the bottom of the table, are found in Africa, Asia and South America.

    These are Caracas in Venezuela (131st), Douala in Cameroon (132nd), Harare in Zimbabwe (133rd), Karachi in Pakistan (134th), Tripoli in Libya (135th), Algiers in Algeria (136th), Dhaka in Bangladesh (137th), Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea(138th) and Lagos in Nigeria (139th).

    The Australian city of Adelaide is third. There are four Australian cities in the top 10

    The Australian city of Adelaide is third. There are four Australian cities in the top 10 

    Wellington in New Zealand, pictured, shares fourth place with the Japanese capital, Tokyo

    Wellington in New Zealand, pictured, shares fourth place with the Japanese capital, Tokyo 

    Overall, the EIU says the Covid-19 pandemic caused liveability to decline in the past 12 months ‘as cities experienced lockdowns and significant strains on their healthcare systems’.

    It adds: ‘This led to an unprecedented level of change in the rankings, with many of the cities that were previously ranked as the most liveable tumbling.

    ‘In particular, European and Canadian countries fared poorly in this year’s edition. Vienna, previously the world’s most liveable city, fell to the 12th position. While the biggest mover down overall was Hamburg, which fell 34 places to 47th.’

    Upasana Dutt, head of global liveability at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on global liveability.

    ‘Cities across the world are now much less liveable than they were before the pandemic began, and we’ve seen that regions such as Europe have been hit particularly hard.

    The Syrian capital, Damascus, is ranked as the least liveable city in the world. This image was taken in 2009 before conflict erupted there

    The Syrian capital, Damascus, is ranked as the least liveable city in the world. This image was taken in 2009 before conflict erupted there 

    ‘The cities that have risen to the top of the rankings this year are largely the ones that have taken stringent measures to contain the pandemic.

    ‘New Zealand’s tough lockdown allowed their society to reopen and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life.

    ‘One area where there has been regrettably little change is at the bottom of our rankings.

    ‘Damascus remains the world’s least liveable city, as the effects of the civil war in Syria continue to take their toll. Indeed, most of the previous 10 least liveable cities remain in the bottom 10 this year.’ 

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