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Boats floating in blue water in front of the Auckland skyline on a sunny day, with the Sky Tower on the left
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These are officially the world’s most liveable cities

Auckland in New Zealand comes top as Covid shakes up the Economist’s annual liveability rankings

Written by
Rosie Hewitson
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Auckland has a lot going for it. There’s its gorgeous seafront location, sandy beaches and warm, coastal climate. There’s the diverse population and laidback yet buzzy nightlife scene.

And now there’s the fact that it can officially lay claim to the title of world’s most liveable city, after it came first in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual survey of 140 urban centres across the globe.

What makes a city ‘liveable’ exactly? Well, the index assigns rankings based on a variety of factors including stability, infrastructure, education and access to healthcare, but it would seem that being largely unaffected by a global pandemic helps quite a lot, as evidenced by the prevalence of cities in Australia, Japan and New Zealand in this year’s top ten. (All three of those countries, it’s fair to say, have handled coronavirus pretty well.)

Having previously achieved a high of eighth place in 2017, 2021 marks the first time New Zealand’s largest city has topped the rankings. Meanwhile, 2018 and 2019 winner Vienna has dropped out of the top ten altogether, alongside other European cities which struggled to get the virus under control. The Japanese city of Osaka came second, with Adelaide in Australia in third place.

Here’s the top ten in full:

1. Auckland
2. Osaka
3. Adelaide
4.
Wellington
5. Tokyo
6. Perth
7. Zurich
8. Geneva
9. Melbourne
10. Brisbane

So there you go, New Zealanders – yet another reason to feel smug in the era of coronavirus. Why don’t you all go and lick each other’s faces in celebration. 

Want to find out more about the world’s most liveable city? Here’s our ultimate guide to Auckland.

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