Canada and Australia are leading the “Most Livable Cities” chart composed annually by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Seven of the first ten cities on the list are Canadian or Australian. Calgary managed to get to the top 10 for the first time, while Vancouver took first place for the fifth consecutive year. Besides Vancouver and Calgary (which took fifth place in the chart), Toronto also made it to the list, ranking fourth.
A system allowing for direct comparison between locations was used to determine which cities are the best places to live. Thirty factors were considered from these five categories: stability, health care, education, culture & environment, and infrastructure. Each of the factors was given a mark ranging from acceptable through tolerable, uncomfortable and undesirable to intolerable. The best score a city can achieve is 100 points, and Vancouver received 98 in this year’s report.
Ald. Andre Chabot, who is also on the board of Calgary Economic Development, was interviewed on the matter by the Calgary Herald, saying: “It doesn’t surprise me that much, considering we are doing well from an economic standpoint.” He added that having three cities in the top 10 positions truly says a lot about Canada. He thinks that Calgary’s security and Canada’s generally good access to health care are considerable assets that have been positively acknowledged. On the other hand, Chabot thinks that Calgary’s weather was a noticeable shortcoming.
The Economist attributed Vancouver’s success to its hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which cemented its position with added infrastructure and improved culture and environment scores. Petty crime was the only drawback of life in Vancouver, though it is just a minor issue. Statistics show that the murder rate in Vancouver is above the Canadian average, but still less than half of the U.S. average. Calgary’s rate is 1.9 murders per 100,000 people, which is barely higher than the nation’s average.
Top 10 Most Livable Cities:
2. Melbourne, Australia
3. Vienna, Austria
6. Helsinki, Finland
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Perth, Australia
9. Adelaide, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand