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Vancouver ranks fifth globally on major livability index

Vancouver placed just ahead of Calgary and Toronto.
Vancouver has ranked fifth on the 2023 Global Liveability Index.

Vienna. Copenhagen. Melbourne. Sydney.

Those are the only four cities more livable than Vancouver according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

The global analyst company has issued its 2023 Global Liveability Index on the most livable major cities in the world, and, of the 173 places, Vancouver ranks fifth. It's also the highest-ranking city in North America, scoring 97.3 out of a possible 100 points; first place Vienna scored 98.4.

Across the five overarching categories (stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure) Vancouver scored perfect 100s in both healthcare and education. The weakest category was stability, with a 95. The five categories are weighted and added together to make up the final score.

Other Canadian cities joined Vancouver in the top 10; Calgary tied with Geneva in seventh and Toronto was ninth. Calgary's culture and environment score weighed it down (87.3) while Toronto lost points for its infrastructure (89.3). The trio made Canada the most represented country in the top 10 (which had 11 cities since two tied for 10th).

Vancouver ranked fifth as well last year, but had a lower score (96.1) due to instability caused by anti-vaccine protests; those protests damaged all Canadian cities' scores in 2022.

An overarching theme in the EIU report is optimism and improvement despite instability. Overall scores on the massive index improved to a 15-year high, according to the report's authors. The main threat seems to be the stability of societies.

"Of the five categories covered by our liveability index, only stability has seen a decline in its ratings since last year. In many cities...stability scores have fallen this year because of greater civil unrest," they note, adding that Canadian cities' stability increased this year.

"Even so, we do not expect the bubbling anger to die down soon," they write. "Still-high global commodity prices, continued supply chain disruptions, high food prices, and currency weakness against the US dollar for some countries will continue to fuel discontent in 2023."

The EIU takes 30 different indicators into account when creating the report, from the prevalence of petty crime to the quality of public and private healthcare to the accessibility of sports, and gives different categories different weights to come up with the final score out of 100.

The top 10 livable global cities of 2023

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Melbourne, Australia

4. Sydney, Australia

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Zurich Switzerland

7. Calgary, Canada

7. Geneva, Switzerland

9. Toronto, Canada

10. Osaka, Japan

10. Auckland, New Zealand