Liveability in Europe has fallen owing to the Eurozone crisis, according to research by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The London-based think tank regularly assesses which 140 cities around the world provide the best or worst living conditions.
Melbourne in Australia has replaced Vancouver in Canada as “the most liveable city” in the latest ranking.
Europe fared less well, particularly Greece. Austerity measures and resulting protests have driven a 2.5% in the score for Athens, which now ranks below San Juan in Puerto Rico and Montevideo in Uruguay.
Liveability scores in the Middle East and North Africa were negatively impacted by the Arab Spring and civil war in Libya. Tripoli in Libya is now one of the bottom ten locations for the first time since rankings started nearly a decade ago. Harare in Zimbabwe is the lowest-scoring city.
The survey originated as a means of testing whether human resource departments needed to assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages.
“While this function is still a central potential use of the survey, it has also evolved as a broad means of benchmarking cities,” the think tank says. “This means that liveability is increasingly used by city councils, organisations or corporate entities looking to test their locations against others to see general areas where liveability can differ.”
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