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Living the Good Life Zurich and Geneva ranked in top five most liveable cities in Europe

Champs Elysées in Paris at night after a terror attack in April 2017

The threat of terrorism and civil unrest gradually in decline, the French city of Paris and nearly half the cities surveyed worldwide, have seen their liveability ranking ranking improve over the past year. 


Switzerland’s two largest cities, Zurich and Geneva, both rank in the top five most liveable cities in Europe but just miss the global top ten, according to the 2018 Economis Intelligence Unit’s annual surveyexternal link results.

Both cities improved upon their 2017 ranking, with Zurich jumping from 15th to 11th place globally, and Geneva moving up four places to 14th.

Liveability ranking

List of top cities

Vienna takes the top spot for the first time in the rankings’ history, unseating Melbourne, which topped the survey for seven consecutive years. Copenhagen also climbed up the ranking as the only other European city to make the global top ten.

At the bottom of the list are Lagos (Nigeria), Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Damascus (Syria).

The liveability survey assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions.

The average global liveability score improved for the second consecutive year, nearly one percentage point, for the 140 cities benchmarked. Nearly half of the cities surveyed saw their liveability ranking improve over the past year. Improvements were recorded across all five categories measured - infrastructure, stability, education, healthcare, and culture and environment.

Stability experienced the greatest increase at 2.5% overall. The survey points to greater safety and a ‘return to normalcy’ after high-profile terrorist attacks that rattled stability in many major cities such as Manchester and Paris in the past few years. Despite these recent improvements, stability is still the lowest-scoring category for western Europe.

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