The world’s most habitable cities: Canada ranks high in 2022

Are you considering a big step this year? You might want to think of another place in Canada or Western Europe.

The annual ranking of the world’s most habitable cities has just been published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and the 2022 Global Liveability Index shows some marked differences from the previous year.

The EIU, a sister organization to The Economist, ranked 173 cities around the world on a variety of factors, including health care, crime, political stability, infrastructure, and access to green spaces.


Overall, Europe dominated the list with six places in the top 11 (which was a draw in 10th place). Copenhagen, which CNN Travel declared Europe’s cool capital in December 2021, snatched second place on the Global Liveability Index.

Switzerland was the only country in Europe that had two entries in the top 10, with Geneva in sixth place and Zurich in third place.

The overall country winner, however, was Canada. The Great White North represented three of its cities – Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto.

“Cities that were at the top of our rankings before the pandemic have come back because of their stability, good infrastructure and services, as well as enjoyable leisure activities,” the index’s authors wrote.


Last year’s winner, New Zealand’s Auckland, dropped out of the top 10 in 2022 and landed in a surprising 34th place.

Neighboring Australia had the most noticeable drop in the rankings this year. Despite topping the list earlier, Melbourne dropped to 10th place in 2022.

In 2021, Australia dominated the EIU index, with Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth all joining Melbourne in the top 10. This year, they are in 27th, 30th and 32nd place respectively.

Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, was in fourth place in 2021, but also dropped out of the top 10 this year.

Although Europe had a very good result in 2022, two notable items are missing – London and Paris. Increased cost of living played a role in both metropolises, as did Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Ongoing global conflict was the most important factor that determined which countries were at the bottom of the list. Damascus, Lagos and Tripoli were rated as the three least populous cities in the world.

Meanwhile, Kiev was not analyzed this year due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.


Earlier this month, global mobility company ECA International released its list of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, focusing on expats.

Hong Kong had the dubious honor of coming in first place, with New York City, Geneva, London and Tokyo rounding out the top five.

The only city that appeared on both the ECA and EIU index was Geneva.

The most expensive city location was determined solely by economic factors – average rent, gas price and the like – as opposed to the EIU list, which looks at a city’s cultural attractions such as museums and concerts as well as infrastructure such as mass transport.


1. Vienna, Austria

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Calgary, Canada

5. Vancouver, Canada

6. Geneva, Switzerland

7. Frankfurt, Germany

8. Toronto, Canada

9. Amsterdam, Holland

10. Osaka, Japan and Melbourne, Australia (draw)

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