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Vienna claims the top place again.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its Global Livability Index 2022. The index quantifies the challenges presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 173 cities worldwide.

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This year, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions in parts of the world led to big shifts across the index.

Vienna in Austria reclaims the highest spot again after topping the rankings in 2018 and 2019. It leads Western European and Canadian cities that dominated the list.

“Stability and good infrastructure are the city’s main charms for its inhabitants, supported by good healthcare and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment,” the EIU wrote.

Copenhagen in Denmark has moved up 13 places from its previous position all the way to second place. Zurich in Switzerland also now shares third place with Calgary in Canada.

“Life is almost back to normal” in these cities with high COVID-19 vaccination rates and easing of restrictions, according to the EIU.

Positive trend

Overall, the EIU’s Liveability Index rose sharply in the 2022 survey conducted between February and March. The global average score, however, remains below prepandemic levels.

Meanwhile, scores for culture and environment, healthcare, and education have all improved. This is under the context of countries easing COVID-19 curbs.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced the EIU to exclude Kiev from the survey.

It also influenced the rankings for Moscow and St. Petersburg, with both cities recording a fall in scores. This is due to increased instability, censorship, imposition of Western sanctions, and corporates withdrawing their operations from the country.

“However, in the latest survey, the picture that emerges is a broadly positive one. Amid the gradual—and ongoing—shift in the status of COVID-19 from pandemic to endemic and a rise in global vaccination rates, the global average liveability score has rebounded,” the report concludes.

Banner Photo by Marcel Rusu from Pixabay