Sydney and Melbourne drop in global liveability as Perth Triumphs

Oh, dear. Sydney and Melbourne’s rankings amongst the top 10 ‘most liveable’ cities across the globe have plummeted.

The wake of covid-19 has seen a rejumbling of the world’s top 10 most liveable cities, knocking Sydney off the list from 3rd place in 2019 to 11th in 2021.

Melbourne previously topped the list seven years in a row, from 2010-2017.

jacinda ardern border closure australia sydney melbourne ranking global liveability
Image: Guardian

However, 2021 has seen their score plummet to 9th place in what is likely the impact of the pandemic, border closures and case surges.

The annual rankings, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), are influenced by five categories, including the stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure within 140 counties.

Auckland in New Zealand, was ranked #1 as the most liveable city due to their successful approach towards the covid-19 pandemic.

Implementing a strict lockdown and border closure saw minimal cases surface on New Zealand shores, paying dividends to the country’s economy and overall living conditions.

liveable city rating global sydney melbourne australia
Image: WA Today

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, was commended for her quick response to the pandemic, which allowed social gatherings and cultural activities to continue throughout the height of the pandemic.

However, the liveability rankings awarded to NZ cities, Auckland (1) and Wellington (4), have left others confused.

The housing in both cities has been placed amongst the “least affordable” in the world, with undesirable living conditions and houses described as “old, cold and damp“.

Simon Baptist, the global chief economist at the EIU, mentioned that cities experiencing case surges during the global survey period experienced a drop in their ratings.

Perth rose from 14th in 2019 to 6th place in the global ratings, receiving perfect scores for education, infrastructure and healthcare. However, their success within the healthcare category is questionable, considering Western Australia’s current hospital crisis.
Despite this, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan, stated that the list reflected the quality of life that people experience whilst living in those cities.
McGowan went on to applaud the states strict border closures and how these tough efforts have paid off, despite initial “frustration“.

The reduced scores for Sydney and Melbourne can be credited to their more relaxed approaches to restrictions and border closures, compared to other states.

Melbourne has recently emerged from its fourth lockdown, and despite receiving a higher liveability rating than Sydney, they are still struggling with keeping new covid cases under wraps; Victoria has just recorded four new covid cases.

Fingers crossed, a fifth lockdown doesn’t evolve for Melbourne.