by Joel Burgess

London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), as part of the Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, recently released a Livability Ranking assessing the living conditions in 127 cities from around the world. Cities were ranked in nearly 40 individual indicators grouped into five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Each indicator is given a rating between one and five; one meaning no impact and five meaning extremely challenging. These scores are then weighted to produce an index where 0% means the city is exceptional and 100% means it is intolerable. At 20% problems begin to present themselves and at 50% severe restrictions on lifestyle exist.

So where is the best place to live?

Hint 1: The survey quotes [that] the overwhelming majority of cities in the top livability range are based in Western Europe and North America.”

Hint 2: In particular, cities in Australia, Austria, Canada, and Switzerland are the most ideal destinations thanks to a widespread availability of goods and services, low personal risk and an effective infrastructure.

Hint 3: Think Molson and maple leaves.

That’s right, our brother to the north is quoted the most livable destination in the world, citing low crime, little threat from instability or terrorism, and a highly developed infrastructure.

So which city in Canada scored the highest?




The Best

10. Calgary, Canada
9. Toronto, Canada
8. Zurich, Switzerland
7. Sydney, Australia
6. Adelaide, Australia
5. Perth, Australia
4. Geneva, Switzerland
3. Vienna, Austria
2. Melbourne, Australia
1. Vancouver, Canada (1%)

The Worst

10. Tehran, Iran
9. Douala, Cameroon
8. Harare, Zimbabwe
7. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
6. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
5. Lagos, Nigeria
4. Karachi, Pakistan
3. Dhaka, Bangladesh
2. Algiers, Algeria
1. Port Moresby, Papa New Guinea (66%)

So what about cities in the red, white and blue?

USA cities are still among the world’s most livable; however, our crime rates and a greater threat of terror put our cities lower in the ranking. Cleveland and Pittsburgh had the highest scores (7%).

For the complete report, visit and click on Press Releases in the left column.

Stay tuned for next month’s article to find out how Whittaker Associate’s new weighted index, Predictive Model, can help you identify and rank your ideal prospects.