Three Canadian cities are ranked in the top 10 of The Economist's annual ranking of the world's "most livable" cities.
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims its annual Live ability Survey could be used to "assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages," among other things.
The magazine says its ranking "assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions" based on five categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
But that seem not to apply to those living in the City of Melbourne Australia, which for the fourth year running has been declared the best city in the world to live. Followed by Vienna.
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Australian are buoyant by stability, superlative healthcare, infrastructure and education as well as a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 people, half the global average of 6.2.
The top 10 list hasn't changed since 2011 and of the 140 cities surveyed, only 20 changed score in the last year.
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"With The War and instability in Syria, the City of Damascus score continued to decline."
Tehran in Iran, Tripoli in Libya and Amman in Jordan saw their scores improve, having "enjoyed periods of relative stability following significant falls in liveability."
Calgary Downtown Association
"Vancouver saw a record low number of murders in 2013, after a decade-long decline that pushed homicide rates down to 1.5 per 100,000 of population in 2012.," the report notes.
In general, the ranking shows a broad trend that mid-sized cities in wealthy countries with low population densities score well. Seven of the top 10 cities on the list are in Australia or Canada,
Vancouver scored so well in part because of its good score on crime issues.
10 most liveable cities1. Melbourne
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, British Columbia
5. Adelaide, Australia
6. Calgary, Alberta
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Perth, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
10 least liveable cities131. Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
132. Tripoli, Libya
134. Harare, Zimbabwe
135. Algiers, Algeria
136. Karachi, Pakistan
137. Lagos, Nigeria
138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Damascus, Syria