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Vancouver still third in new Economist ranking of most livable cities

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary all placed highly in The Economist's 2012 livability ranking, but Vancouverites may be bitter nonetheless.


(Photo: Jon Eben Field/Wikimedia)

Vancouverites may be disappointed their city is no longer number one for livability according to The Economist, a ranking it lost last year to Melbourne after almost a decade at the top. But Canada as a whole continues to rank very well, with three cities in the top 10.

Vancouver came in third, just 0.2 points behind first-place Melbourne and 0.1 behind second-place Vienna. Toronto ranked fourth, 0.1 points behind Vancouver, and Calgary followed in fifth. A few cities on the lower-half of the list shuffled spots from last year, but not Canada’s, which retained not only the same rankings from last year but the same scores as well. 

The list tends to be dominated by Canadian and Australian cities, whose similar living conditions hit the mark for The Economist‘s methodology.

“As has been clear for several years now, the cities that do best in this ranking are mid-sized conurbations in countries with low population densities. Such conditions are likely to result in low crime levels, functioning infrastructure and easily available recreational activities,” the magazine wrote in its Gulliver blog Tuesday.

Last year, The Economist said Vancouver’s fall from grace was due to increased congestion, a point of contention for many Canadians, due to the the magazine citing closures on the Malahat highway on Vancouver Island as an example. The magazine later clarified:

“The author of the EIU’s report has told me that he did not mean to suggest that Vancouver’s fall from grace was a result of the closures of the Malahat highway on Vancouver Island, though many have understandably interpreted it this way and commented to this effect, both on this article and elsewhere. The Malahat closures were meant to provide an example of the congestion that has affected the region as a whole.”

But perhaps Vancouver residents shouldn’t be too upset with the latest report. In last year’s, The Economist noted that the ranking had been conducted before the city’s downtown riot, which it said was likely to cause the city to “head downward in subsequent iterations.”

But riots be damned. Vancouver ranked and scored the same as it did in 2011.

The Top 10:

1. Melbourne 97.5
Vienna 97.4
Vancouver 97.3
Toronto 97.2
Calgary 96.6
Adelaide 96.6
7. Sydney 96.1
Helsinki 96.0
Perth 95.9
Auckland 95.7