VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Vancouver can no longer trumpet its status as the world’s most livable city.  The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Livability Survey has been the standard, and for almost a decade Vancouver topped the rankings.  But not anymore. 

We’re now third, behind Melbourne, Australia and Vienna, Austria. 

“The survey is based on five broad categories.  We have scores for stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.  There are about 40 indicators that make up the final score, which is a weighted amalgamation of these,” says Jon Copestake with EIU.

“Vancouver’s score fell very slightly due to a perceived change in the infrastructure score and there have been reports of increased congestion in and around Vancouver.  The example that we cited is the Malahat Highway, which is not in Vancouver, but that’s just representative of one of a number of things that we were informed of.”

The road was closed for 22 hours in April after a fuel tanker truck crashed.

“For example, Highway 1, as well, in Vancouver is being upgraded and I think that has caused some congestion and those factors caused a very slight drop.  It was a tiny drop in the actual score which, surprisingly, caused Vancouver to fall two places,” he adds.

Copestake explains the race is very tight.  “Vancouver’s score is currently 97.3 out of 100, which is almost perfect.  You can’t really ask for much more than that.  The top scoring city, Melbourne, was unchanged at 97.5.  So between first and third there’s only 0.2 percentage points.  If you extend that to Toronto in fourth, there’s only 0.3 percentage points between the top four.”

People here in BC may not like the ranking, but Copestake adds people need to consider the big picture.

“It’s notable that Athens, Greece has fallen below 80 per cent which is the area where you would need a hardship allowance to move there. The unrest there and the austerity measures have been quite significant. Also the events in Libya mean that Tripoli has fallen into the bottom 10.  So those are the big movers elsewhere.  Vancouver’s movement is very small but I guess that’s the one that gets the most attention.”

The Stanley Cup Riot did not affect this year’s rankings, but could impact the report next year.  Vancouver still outscored the other cities for culture and environment.

Seven of the top 10 livable cities are in Australia and Canada.  Toronto ranked fourth and Calgary nabbed the fifth spot.

Top 10 Most Livable Cities                                          

1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
6. Sydney, Australia
7. Helsinki, Finland
8. Perth, Australia
9. Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand

Worst places to live

1. Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire
2. Tehran, Iran
3. Douala, Cameroon
4. Karachi, Pakistan
5. Tripoli, Libya
6. Algiers, Algeria
7. Lagos, Nigeria
8. Port Moresby, PNG
9. Dhaka, Bangladesh
10. Harare, Zimbabwe