List of top cities rated by quality of living

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It’s that time of the year where various reporters and consulting firms release a list of where they believe are the best cities to live. The decision is made based on an annual survey which assesses factors such as culture, healthcare, environment, education and infrastructure.

Liveability rankings are designed for use by employers assigning hardship allowances as part of job relocation. There have been numerous arguments over the expansion of liveability rankings for other purposes. However, the annual city rankings usually attract media coverage, and are a popular topic of discussion.

The ranking, which provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide, shows that since 2009 average liveability across the world has fallen by 0.7%, led by a 1.3% fall in the score for safety and stability. It has been suggested by The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) that this could be because of a range of factors such as the recent conflict in Ukraine or the war in Iraq.

With cities such as Melbourne, Vienna and Vancouver taking the top spots again, while the Syrian capital Damascus remains at the bottom of the list as the 140th worst place to live, for the second year running. But the question remains, what about the places that do not qualify to be large enough to be considered in list? Perhaps they too have some of the best characteristics and opportunities, so it’s best to take into consideration that the lists are by no means conclusive.