Vienna, Copenhagen, Zurich: the most liveable cities in the world


Ranking of economists

Vienna once again becomes the most liveable city in the world – Zurich and Geneva in the top 5

After the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the Austrian capital Vienna is once again the most livable city in the world for the first time. Zurich is also back on the podium – and Geneva finishes in 5th place.

Is once again one of the most livable cities in the world: in the latest Economist ranking, Zurich takes third place behind Vienna and Copenhagen.

Severin Bigler

A year ago, the quality of life in European metropolises had dropped significantly due to corona restrictions, while life in the isolated island state of New Zealand continued to be largely normal. Result: the city of Auckland took first place in the annual ranking of cities on the quality of life. With the lifting of the corona measures, however, the metropolitan areas of New Zealand, Australia and China fell again in the latest ranking.

Like Zurich, back on top of the world: according to The Economist Group, Geneva is the fifth most livable city in the world.

Like Zurich, back on top of the world: according to The Economist Group, Geneva is the fifth most livable city in the world.


According to the latest ranking by the British Economist Group, “well-vaccinated” cities in Europe and Canada again dominate: Vienna is followed by Copenhagen, Zurich, Calgary, Vancouver and Geneva. After Frankfurt, the top ten also includes Toronto and Amsterdam, as well as Osaka and Melbourne.

The aftermath of the Ukrainian war

The improved scores are due to the opening of shops, restaurants and museums, said Upasana Dutt, head of the Quality of Life Index. “The education system has improved as children return to school and there has been a significant reduction in the burden on hospitals and healthcare systems,” she added.

While Western Europe has caught up, ratings in the Eastern part of the continent have fallen following the Russian attack on Ukraine. Moscow and St. Petersburg fell more than a dozen places, ranking 96th and 107th out of 172 ranked metropolitan areas. The Ukrainian capital Kyiv was excluded from the ranking this year. Other cities like Warsaw and Budapest were also downgraded due to the region’s geopolitical situation.

And then there are those at the bottom: life is hardest in Damascus in Syria, Tripoli in Libya, Lagos in Nigeria and Algiers in Algeria, analysts have found. Violent conflict and terrorism are the main reasons for poor performance. Tehran, the capital of sanctions-plagued Iran, is also one of the last ten municipalities.

tail lights

From the perspective of the study authors, the effects of the war in Ukraine are the greatest risk to the quality of urban life in the coming months. Rising energy and food prices could trigger conflict in some places. “Even where stability is not threatened, the cost crisis will dampen investment in infrastructure, health and education,” they warned. (dpa/Sat)

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