Ranked: The Most Livable Cities in the World

The world's cities ranked according to stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
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Ranked: The Most Livable Cities in the World Getty Images/Newsweek

More of us are living in cities than ever before, and that number is only growing. A recent report from the United Nations (U.N.) predicts that 68 percent of the world's population will be city dwellers by 2050, up from 55 percent today.

Every city is different, with its layout, architecture, traditions and governance influencing citizens lives for better or worse. But what exactly makes a city more pleasant to live in is up for debate.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has its own set of criteria. In their annual Global Liveability Index report, they rank the world's cities using "over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure."

The result is a list of cities they deem the most livable, all given an overall score out of 100. The Australian city of Melbourne has reigned supreme in the past seven years, only to be knocked off the top spot in the 2018 ranking by a European upstart.

Still, Australia has a lot to be proud of—two other of its cities break the top ten. Japan and Canada also emerge victorious, with three and two top ten cities, respectively.

The report also notes global improvements, with scores rising 0.9 percent on average in the past year. The stability category saw the most improvement, at 2.5 percent overall.

Mid-sized cities in wealthier countries tend to do better in EIU rankings, and a number of cities in the top ten also have a low population density.

The buzzing cultural and business centers of London, Paris and New York are often seen as desirable cities to live, but are penalized in this ranking for their crime and public transport issues.

Abidjan in Ivory Coast has improved the most during the past five years, and is now ranked at 124. Kiev in Ukraine has seen the biggest decline, placing at 118. Unsurprisingly, the war-torn Syrian city of Damascus sits at the very bottom of the list, scoring just 30.7 points out of 100.

We've listed the world's 51 most livable cities (there's a tie for 50th place), including the eleven U.S. cities that made it onto the list.

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=50. Los Angeles, USA. Overall rating (100 is ideal): 88.6. Getty Images