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Ranked: The Most and Least Livable Cities in 2022

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Ranked: The Most and Least Livable Cities in 2022

Ranked: The Most and Least Livable Cities in 2022

Pandemic restrictions changed the livability of many urban centers worldwide as cultural sites were shuttered, restaurant dining was restricted, and local economies faced the consequences. But as cities worldwide return to the status quo, many of these urban centers have become desirable places to live yet again.

This map uses annual rankings from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to show the worldโ€™s most livable cities, measuring different categories including: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

A Quick Note on Methodology

The ranking attempts to assess which cities across the globe provide the best living conditions, by assigning a score on 30 quantitative and qualitative measures across the five categories with the following weightings:

  1. Healthcare (20%)
  2. Culture & Environment (25%)
  3. Stability (25%)
  4. Education (10%)
  5. Infrastructure (20%)

Of the 30 factors within these categories, the qualitative ones are assigned as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable, or intolerable by a team of expert analysts. Quantitative measures are given a score based on a number of external data points. Everything is then weighted to provide a score between 1-100, with 100 being the ideal.

Ranked: The 10 Most Livable Cities

Of the 172 cities included in the rankings, many of the most livable cities can be found in Europe. However, three of the top 10 are located in Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

Vienna has been ranked number one many times, most recently in 2019. According to the EIU, the Austrian capital only fell out of the top slot during the pandemic years because its famous museums and restaurants were shuttered.

RankCityCountryScore
#1Vienna๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria99.1
#2Copenhagen๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark98.0
#3Zurich๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland96.3
#3Calgary๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada96.3
#5Vancouver๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada96.1
#6Geneva๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland95.9
#7Frankfurt๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany95.7
#8Toronto๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada95.4
#9Amsterdam๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands95.3
#10Osaka๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan95.1
#10Melbourne๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia95.1

Only one Asian city, Osaka, makes the top 10 list, tying with Melbourne for 10th place.ย Notably, not a single U.S. city is found in the top ranks.

Editor’s note: Two cities tie for both the #3 and #10 ranks, meaning that the “top 10” list actually includes 12 cities.

Ranked: The 10 Least Livable Cities

Some of the least livable cities in the world are located across Africa and Central Asia.

RankCityCountryScore
#163Tehran๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Iran44.0
#164Douala๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Cameroon43.3
#165Harare๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ Zimbabwe40.9
#166Dhaka๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh39.2
#167Port Moresby๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌ Papua New Guinea 38.8
#168Karachi๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan37.5
#169Algiers๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria37.0
#170Tripoli๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ Libya34.2
#171Lagos๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Nigeria32.2
#172Damascus๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ Syria30.7

Many of the least livable cities are within conflict zones, contributing to the low ratings. However, these regions are also home to some of the world’s fastest growing cities, presenting many opportunities for ambitious residents.

The Biggest Changes in Ranking

Let’s take a look at the cities that moved up the global rankings most dramatically compared to last year’s data.

Moving Up: The 10 Most Improved Cities

CityCountryOverall RankRank Change
Frankfurt๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany#7+32
Hamburg๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany#16+31
Dusseldorf๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany#22+28
London๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK#33+27
Manchester๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK#28+26
Paris๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France#19+23
Brussels๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium#24+22
Amsterdam๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands#9+21
Athens๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece#73+19
Los Angeles๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ US#37+18

Hereโ€™s a look at the cities that fell the most in the rankings since last yearโ€™s report.

Moving Down: The 10 Cities That Tumbled

CityCountryOverall RankRank Change
Wellington๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand#50-46
Auckland๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand#34-33
Adelaide๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia#30-27
Perth๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia#32-26
Houston๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ US#56-25
Reykjavik๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland#48-25
Madrid๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain#43-24
Taipei๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan#53-20
Barcelona๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain#35-19
Brisbane๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia#27-17

According to the report, a number of cities in New Zealand and Australia temporarily dropped in the ranking due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s also worth noting that some Eastern European cities moved down in the rankings because of their close proximity to the war in Ukraine. Finally, Kyiv was not included in this year’s report because of the conflict.

Urbanization and Livability

As of 2021, around 57% of the worldโ€™s population lives in urban centers and projections show that people worldwide will continue to move into cities.

While there are more amenities in urban areas, the pandemic revealed many issues with urbanization and the concentration of large populations. The stress on healthcare systems is felt most intensely in cities and restrictions on public outings are some of the first measures to be introduced in the face of a global health crisis.

Now with the cost of living rising, cities may face pressures on their quality of life, and governments may be forced to cut spending on public services. Regardless, people worldwide continue to see the benefits of city livingโ€”it’s projected that over two-thirds of the global population will live in cities by 2050.

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Healthcare

Charted: Average Years Left to Live by Age

Visualizing the number of years left to live for Americans at every age, reveals the broader trends in American life expectancy.

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Chart showing the average years left to live at every age for men and women.

How Many Years Do You Have Left to Live?

At the start of the 19th century, when there fewer than 1 billion humans on the earth, global life expectancy at birth stood at roughly 29 years.

This is a startlingly low figureโ€”because life expectancy is a statistical projection of how many more years a person can expect to live, based on the mortality rates at the time. And since the infant mortality rate in particular was so high, life expectancies accurately summarized the low likelihood of many babies living to adulthood.

However, since the 1920s, life expectancy across all ages has improved leaps and bounds, thanks to rapid advancements in nutrition, healthcare, and sanitation.

We visualized the current American life expectancy by age and gender, using data from the Office of Social Security, which bases their current projections on 2020 mortality rates.

American Life Expectancy at Every Age

A key takeaway with life expectancy is that it increases as one gets older. This is easily seen in the table below, which lists the remaining years left to live at a given age for an American male and the projected life expectancy.

AgeYears Remaining (Men)Life Expectancy (Men)
074.1274.12
173.5574.55
272.5874.58
371.6074.60
470.6274.62
569.6374.63
668.6474.64
767.6574.65
866.6574.65
965.6674.66
1064.6774.67
1163.6874.68
1262.6974.69
1361.7074.70
1460.7174.71
1559.7374.73
1658.7674.76
1757.7974.79
1856.8474.84
1955.9074.90
2054.9774.97
2154.0475.04
2253.1275.12
2352.2175.21
2451.3075.30
2550.3975.39
2649.4875.48
2748.5775.57
2847.6675.66
2946.7675.76
3045.8675.86
3144.9775.97
3244.0776.07
3343.1876.18
3442.2976.29
3541.3976.39
3640.5076.50
3739.6276.62
3838.7376.73
3937.8576.85
4036.9776.97
4136.0977.09
4235.2177.21
4334.3477.34
4433.4677.46
4532.5977.59
4631.7377.73
4730.8777.87
4830.0178.01
4929.1778.17
5028.3378.33
5127.5078.50
5226.6778.67
5325.8678.86
5425.0679.06
5524.2779.27
5623.4879.48
5722.7179.71
5821.9579.95
5921.2180.21
6020.4780.47
6119.7480.74
6219.0381.03
6318.3281.32
6417.6381.63
6516.9481.94
6616.2682.26
6715.5882.58
6814.9182.91
6914.2483.24
7013.5983.59
7112.9483.94
7212.3084.30
7311.6784.67
7411.0585.05
7510.4685.46
769.8885.88
779.3286.32
788.7786.77
798.2587.25
807.7487.74
817.2588.25
826.7788.77
836.3189.31
845.8889.88
855.4790.47
865.0791.07
874.7091.70
884.3592.35
894.0293.02
903.7293.72
913.4494.44
923.1895.18
932.9695.96
942.7596.75
952.5797.57
962.4298.42
972.2899.28
982.15100.15
992.04101.04
1001.93101.93
1011.83102.83
1021.73103.73
1031.63104.63
1041.54105.54
1051.45106.45
1061.36107.36
1071.27108.27
1081.18109.18
1091.10110.10
1101.02111.02
1110.95111.95
1120.88112.88
1130.82113.82
1140.76114.76
1150.70115.70
1160.65116.65
1170.60117.60
1180.56118.56
1190.52119.52
1200.48120.48

At birth, an average American baby boy can expect to live till just past 74. But if the boy reaches adulthood, then at 21 he might live to a full year more, past 75. This trend persists even towards the end of life when the years we have left drop rapidly, influenced by the higher likelihood of death.

American women, on the other hand, have a higher life expectancy than men. At birth the gap is close to six years, narrowing steadily to around one year by 85.

AgeYears Remaining
(Women)
Life Expectancy
(Women)
079.7879.78
179.1780.17
278.1980.19
377.2180.21
476.2280.22
575.2380.23
674.2480.24
773.2580.25
872.2580.25
971.2680.26
1070.2780.27
1169.2780.27
1268.2880.28
1367.2980.29
1466.3080.30
1565.3180.31
1664.3280.32
1763.3480.34
1862.3680.36
1961.3880.38
2060.4180.41
2159.4480.44
2258.4780.47
2357.5080.50
2456.5480.54
2555.5880.58
2654.6180.61
2753.6680.66
2852.7080.70
2951.7480.74
3050.7980.79
3149.8480.84
3248.8980.89
3347.9480.94
3447.0081.00
3546.0681.06
3645.1281.12
3744.1881.18
3843.2481.24
3942.3181.31
4041.3881.38
4140.4581.45
4239.5281.52
4338.6081.60
4437.6881.68
4536.7681.76
4635.8581.85
4734.9481.94
4834.0482.04
4933.1482.14
5032.2482.24
5131.3582.35
5230.4782.47
5329.5982.59
5428.7282.72
5527.8682.86
5627.0183.01
5726.1683.16
5825.3283.32
5924.4983.49
6023.6783.67
6122.8583.85
6222.0484.04
6321.2484.24
6420.4584.45
6519.6684.66
6618.8884.88
6718.1085.10
6817.3485.34
6916.5885.58
7015.8285.82
7115.0886.08
7214.3686.36
7313.6486.64
7412.9486.94
7512.2687.26
7611.6087.60
7710.9587.95
7810.3188.31
799.7088.70
809.1089.10
818.5389.53
827.9889.98
837.4490.44
846.9390.93
856.4491.44
865.9991.99
875.5592.55
885.1593.15
894.7693.76
904.4194.41
914.0895.08
923.7895.78
933.5196.51
943.2797.27
953.0598.05
962.8598.85
972.6899.68
982.52100.52
992.37101.37
1002.23102.23
1012.09103.09
1021.96103.96
1031.84104.84
1041.72105.72
1051.61106.61
1061.51107.51
1071.41108.41
1081.32109.32
1091.24110.24
1101.16111.16
1111.09112.09
1121.02113.02
1130.96113.96
1140.90114.90
1150.85115.85
1160.80116.80
1170.75117.75
1180.70118.70
1190.66119.66
1200.62120.62

Interestingly, women outlive men in nearly every country in the world, due to a mix of sociological, behavioral, and biological reasons.

COVID-19: Reversing A Decade of Increasing American Life Expectancy

While the current American life expectancy at birth seems reasonably high, it is nearly two years lower than the 2022 figure which used the 2019 mortality rate. It is also lower than the life expectancy at birth in 2009, which used 2005 mortality rate.

YearLife Expectancy
at Birth (Men)
Life Expectancy
at Birth (Women)
200974.1279.95
201476.1080.94
201976.0480.99
202374.1279.78

American mortality rates went up 17% between 2019โ€“2020, in part because of COVID-19, in turn affecting life expectancy. The U.S. also had a higher COVID-19 mortality rate compared to its peers two years after the pandemic first struck.

Thus, American life expectancy may not improve immediately to 2019 levels, which can affect insurance premiums, pension benefits, and plans.

Where Does This Data Come From?

Source: Office of Social Security, U.S. Government.

Note: The life expectancy at a given age is the average remaining number of years expected prior to death for a person at that exact age, born on January 1, using the mortality rates for 2020 over the course of their remaining life.

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