Melbourne drops to 8th on world liveability index

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Melbourne has dropped from second to eighth place on the global liveability index, with city rankings around the world affected by the responses of governments to COVID-19.

The Economist’s 2021 survey found that Auckland in New Zealand was the world’s most livable city while Australian cities Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane all rocketed up the list.

Melbourne is almost deserted on the first day of winter, 2021.Credit:Eddie Jim

Melbourne was previously ranked second after topping the list for much of the past decade. Sydney’s 2021 rank is 11th, down from 3rd in the previous index.

The survey put cities in Australia and New Zealand in six of the top 10 spots, finding that “tight border controls have allowed residents to live relatively normal lives.”

“The extent to which cities were sheltered by strong border closures, their ability to handle the health crisis and the pace at which they rolled out vaccination campaigns drove significant changes in the rankings,” the survey found.

“Six of the top 10 cities in the March 2021 survey are in New Zealand or Australia, where tight border controls have allowed residents to live relatively normal lives.

“Many European and Canadian cities have fallen down the rankings, having battled a second COVID-19 wave by restricting cultural and sporting events, and closing schools and restaurants.

“Auckland, in New Zealand, is at the top … owing to the city’s ability to contain the coronavirus pandemic faster and thus lift restrictions earlier, unlike others around the world.”

The survey also found that the overall global average liveability score fell by seven points, when compared with the average pre-pandemic score.

The index was postponed in 2020 after researchers couldn’t collect data due to coronavirus restrictions.

More to come

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