For 2022, Vienna took the top spot on this year’s liveability index thanks to the city’s stability and good infrastructure are the city’s main charms for its inhabitants, supported by good healthcare and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment. 

But what happened to our Australian cities? 

Melbourne ranked in the top 3 places in the most liveable cities list from when it started in 2002 through to 2019. 

Fact is, it achieved the number one ranking in 10 of those first 18 years. 

But it seems that the Covid pandemic has shaken it down the list. 

Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth all made the top 10 list last year, but all but Melbourne have dropped out of the global top 10 entirely for 2022. 

Melbourne only just scraped through in fact, coming in 10th place (equal with Osaka). 

Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth have fallen to 27th, 30th, and 32nd respectively. 

Interestingly these three capitals were among the top 10 highest falls in the entire 2022 study. 

In fact, cities in Australia are listed among some of the biggest fallers in the rankings. 


Our extended lockdowns, closed borders and tight Covid-19 restrictions has severely affected our cities’ liveability ratings. 

So which cities DO make the list? 

The top 10 rankings were dominated by western European cities, along with three Canadian cities. 

In general, mid-sized cities in the wealthiest countries tended to fare exceptionally well in the survey, EIU said. 

“The top 10 cities are also among those with few Covid restrictions,” the report said. 

“Shops, restaurants and museums have reopened, as have schools. 

“And pandemic-led hospitalisation has declined, leading to less stress on healthcare resources and services, and even the requirement to wear masks is no longer in force in most situations.” 

Top most liveable cities worldwide:


Liveability is at risk worldwide.

The Ukraine war and Covid restrictions will continue to affect cities’ liveability over the next year, the report also commented. 

The pandemic continues and the EIU’s core assumption is that a new variant will cause a global wave of cases, but that it will not be more aggressive than Delta or prove resistant to current vaccines. 

High- and middle-income cities will use a combination of social restrictions and a renewed vaccination push to contain the variant, affecting liveability again while those with low vaccination rates and a poor social safety net, particularly cities in Africa, are more likely to live with rising caseloads and the resulting disruption. 

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine will continue to be a threat to security throughout the next year at least, giving way to more entrenched hostility. 

“Even without escalation, the conflict will continue to fuel global inflation and dampen economic growth.” 

Meanwhile, higher global commodity prices, particularly for energy and food, will continue to weigh on liveability in many cities in the near future. 

“Even where stability is not threatened, the cost-of-living crisis will dampen investment in infrastructure, healthcare and education, as well as the consumer spending that supports cultural life,” the report concluded. 

A note to investors… 

This ranking for 2022 should serve as a reminder for investors to highlight the importance of location within a city when it comes to buying an investment property. 

Obviously not all locations in any one city will be the same. 

Beauty, amenities, services and walkability are all key factors which help set a high-value investment-grade suburb apart from the rest.

After all, it’s all about the lifestyle and what we call a 20-minute neighbourhood. 

Since the pandemic began, our ‘home’ is no longer simply the place we rest and enjoy some downtime between work and our social lives. 

Now, neighbourhood is more important than ever. 

Buyers are willing to pay a premium for properties which are within walking distance of, or a short trip to, a great shopping strip, your favourite coffee shop, amenities, the beach, and a great park. 

And as a result, these are the type of neighbourhoods that investors and wannabe homeowners are flocking to.