For the seventh consecutive year, Melbourne in Australia is the most liveable urban centre of the 140 cities surveyed, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. In fact, only 0.1 percentage points separate the top two cities, and just 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points separate Canada’s Vancouver and Toronto (ranked 3rd and 4th, respectively), from Melbourne. Another Canadian city, Calgary, shares joint fifth place with Adelaide in Australia. Although the top five cities remain unchanged, the past few years have seen increasing instability across the world, causing volatility in the scores of many cities. In Europe, cities have been affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region. At the same time, this year cities such as Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, have benefited from an increasing cultural availability and falling crime rates, enabling them to register improvements in living conditions. Over the past six months 35 of the 140 cities surveyed have experienced changes in their ranking position. This rises to 44 cities, or about one-third of the total number surveyed, when looking at changes over the past 12 months. Overall, the survey shows a higher incidence of positive index movements. In fact, of the 17 cities with an index movement since last year, 12 have seen an improvement in their score, reflecting positive developments in other categories, despite heightened threats of terrorism or unrest with which cities around the world continue to grapple. The ongoing weakening of global stability scores has been made uncomfortably apparent by a number of high-profile incidents that have shown no signs of slowing in recent years. Violent acts of terrorism have been reported in many countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, France, Pakistan, Sweden, Turkey, the UK and the US. While not a new phenomenon, the frequency and spread of terrorism have increased noticeably and become even more prominent.
Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit
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