The world’s top 10 most livable cities

So, the results from The Economist Intelligence Unit have shown that Vienna is again the most livable city in the world.  This is ahead of friendly rival Melbourne who were top for the last 7 years.

Now, it turns out that the Gentleman spent a long hot Summer living in Vienna back in 2003 – 15 years ago and I loved the city then and dream about moving there even now.  It’s a great place to be, with so much to do and do – much better weather than Scotland and better food too!

I’ve been back a few times since as a tourist and still enjoyed it – in a different way.  And recently a friend from my profession got a job with an Austrian company that I would have killed for!  He was headhunted and moved over there to start a new life of Strauss and Strudel.  I’m still in Scotland thinking about how to escape and where to go – Vienna waits for us?  Maybe, but I’ve got to slow down due to the crazy child.

Part of thinking about FIRE is that whilst where we live isn’t that bad a place, the grass is always greener.  Maybe we don’t want to live in a city as they are more expensive than rural areas – but you’d want to live in a good city.  But strangely, many of the bigger cities are not great places to be, according to the report out of 140 cities surveyed:

“New York (57th), London (48th) and Paris (19th) are all prestigious hubs with a wealth of recreational activities, but all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than are deemed comfortable”

So maybe the best balance is to live in a city with a population of around 2 million people.  The Gentleman’s Family live in a city of around 200,000 people and it’s a shame that the resources of a larger city are missing (like choice of activities such as cafés, restaurants, classes, museums, job opportunities, fewer inbreds and more open-minded people, a real airport – even if we do have few of the drawbacks of big cities (like rampant tourism, AirBnBing, high house prices, congestion, crime and a lack of friendliness).

We love Edinburgh but it’s a big city and we only visit for day/overnight trips.  When there you’ve got so much to do, and only so many hours in a day – But you know that when the truth is told that you can get what you want or you get old.  Maybe the best plan for FIRE is to get this list and put it through an algorithm. Measure livability score divided by cost of living multiply by proximity to ski slops to the power of the average summer time temperature plus bonus points if the food is good.  That will get us a place to live that matches our needs and wants – maybe then will I realize, Vienna waits for us.

Here’s the list of the top ten most and least livable – I think that number 11-30 might be better choices for a FIRE life though.  It’s a balance between Cost of Living and Quality of Life – find the sweet spot and you’re set!

The 10 most liveable cities

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Melbourne, Australia
  3. Osaka, Japan
  4. Calgary, Canada
  5. Sydney, Australia
  6. Vancouver, Canada
  7. Toronto, Canada
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Adelaide, Australia

The 10 least liveable cities

  1. Dakar, Senegal
  2. Algiers, Algeria
  3. Douala, Cameroon
  4. Tripoli, Libya
  5. Harare, Zimbabwe
  6. Port Moresby, PNG
  7. Karachi, Pakistan
  8. Lagos, Nigeria
  9. Dhaka, Bangladesh
  10. Damascus, Syria



2 thoughts on “The world’s top 10 most livable cities

    1. I think that I need to see thee full list and look at the cost of living for where might be a good retirement option.
      Vancouver and Calgary are nice I am told by friends who live there but housing is extortionate!
      You see the same thing in the UK And everywhere.

      I am a big believer in Richard Florida’s Creative Class ideas.


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