August 31st, 2011
04:01 AM GMT
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(CNN) – If you want high quality of living, your best bet is going “Down Under” or the “Great White North.”

That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking of 140 cities worldwide that “quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle,” according to the report.

For the first time in a decade, Vancouver has been topped by the southern Australian city of Melbourne, based on metrics that weigh stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and a city’s infrastructure.

The top 10 cities are:

1) Melbourne, Australia
2) Vienna, Austria
3) Vancouver, Canada
4) Toronto, Canada
5) Calgary, Canada
6) Sydney, Australia
7) Helsinki, Finland
8) Perth, Australia
9) Adelaide, Australia
10) Auckland, New Zealand

The report says that the top 63 cities – from Melbourne to the 63rd ranked city, Santiago, Chile – are in the “very top tier of livability, where few problems are encountered … presenting few, if any, challenges to residents’ lifestyles.”

At the bottom of the list:

1) Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
2) Tehran, Iran
3) Douala, Cameroon
4) Karachi, Pakistan
5) Tripoli, Libya
6) Algiers, Algeria
7) Lagos, Nigeria
8) Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
9) Dhaka, Bangladesh
10) Harare, Zimbabwe

The “Arab Spring” has hurt livability ratings of cities in the Middle East and North Africa, with Tripoli – which has unraveled into street fighting in recent weeks – ranking among the worst cities for the first time (the survey was done in July, before the rebel assault).

So what makes Australia and Canada so livable?

soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. Rex Remes

    Hmmmm, the top ten countries are somewhat shielded from unwanted immigration. Is it coincidence?

    August 31, 2011 at 5:00 am |
  2. Ash

    Well, they get taxpayer funded healthcare, so there's peace of mind there. No guns and less violent crime overall. Less government corruption. Good public transportation (relative to many US cities). More egalitarian. Less religious. More sense of community. Paid holiday, sick, and parental leave for everyone. Cheaper education.

    As an American that's moving to Australia and that's lived in Canada and New Zealand, those were some things I noticed. The US is just a stressful place to live, honestly.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:14 am |
  3. Tim

    Your post is foolish and devoid of any fact. The immigration in the top ten cities is very high. Especially Canada where for example in Toronto, about 65% of the population is first generation Canadian.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:19 am |
  4. vkmo

    You missed Bangkok – with the nightlife celebrated by the song "One night in Bangkok", sung by Murray Head.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:25 am |
  5. Sam

    Rex: Dont forget even the white populations of Australia and Canada are decedents of immigrants! Good governance, low population growth and stable economic conditions are surely the more critical factors than immigration.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:33 am |
  6. Marcus

    Mexico City for me Is the best place, great food, fantastic people, good music, lot's of culture, very cosmo! Great weather... Etc...

    August 31, 2011 at 5:43 am |
  7. Farhan

    Dhaka deserves number one. What a city that is? Traffic, strikes, poverty etc... I wonder how the city was able to host the 2011 ICC cricket world cup and will be going to host the upcoming match of Argentina V/S Nigeria.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:58 am |
  8. Pete

    I live in Melbourne and like it here. People aren't afraid to express themselves here, so it's a real mixed bag of people, always something to do, also many sporting events going on. Mind you I have never been to a city that I didn't like, so I wouldn't put Melbourne that far ahead of other places personally.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:41 am |
  9. vodahost

    Sydney, Australia is amazing...I agree.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:45 am |
  10. Joshua Hernandez

    I think it all depends at how you look at the city you live in. I would never want to live in Australia or Canada, so I'm more concerned with livable USA cities. I currently live abroad, but I can't wait to get back to the USA, even with all it's problems.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:46 am |
  11. David

    Let me tell it to you from inside – I am living in Vienna, Austria, Europe.
    IN servere contrast to most of US cities we got excellent healthcare, excelltent and new public transport, a comfortable lifestyle, new technologies at a reasonable price, up to now social peace meaning not too much crime, fresh air because of the cities geography and clean air politics, huge green areas (parks) with swimming opportunities and a world-wide recognised cultural programm, nearby attractive travel opportunities, solid houses (not that wooden huts blown away twice a year) and do not forget that we get our fresh, tasteful DRINKING water directly from the nearby mountains. The fresh, clean and tasty water comes without pumps into Vienna (what will be the "cruide oil" of the future). You can afford it? – get packing today.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:46 am |
  12. lawrence

    Australia has taxpayer funded healthcare but most people also have additional private health insurance for expeditious service; no guns but an abundance of petty crime due to the lack of law enforcement resources; yes, small government less corruption; considering the concentration of population in metropolitan areas public transporation should be much better – commuting via car is a nightmare; yes, more egalitarian; less sense of a community as most are all relative newcomers; great future if the mining wealth is well invested

    August 31, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  13. lawrence

    I have lived and worked in Australia (Sydney & Melbourne), Switzerland (Lugano), Austria (Klagenfurt), Italy (Milan, Udine & Venice) and the US (New York, Connecticut & Pennsylvania), been born in Australia I am biased towards Sydney but very much enjoyed living in the US with my wife and kids

    August 31, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  14. R.P.

    Also live in Vienna Austria – we pay taxes but see the fruits of it. If you have a family then there are more benefits. U get family support payed monthly, get payed maternity leave to up to 3(!!) Years and this secures ur job. Not only maternity leave but also paternity leave! Free nursery and schooling as well. Being a parent these things are more important and a female even moreso as we fear that we may not go back to work. Austrian law states that a wonam should not be discrimated and is granted protection (mutterschutz).Its a great city to live in with excellent infrastructure, beautiful and romantic town centre all around the year and you can enjoy tasteful wines in our wineyards. I've done my fair share of travelling – been to most cities in europe, lived in london for 4 years and been to the states and asia as well – but I came back to Austria ( Vienna) and this is where Ill stay.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:25 am |
  15. Grrtch

    Dang, cat's outta the bag about Melbourne! For the past couple years, I've been all about angling for ways to immigrate there after I finish my education. I visited two years ago, and loved it so much – the cafe culture, the incredible creative community, the bay side lifestyle, the comprehensive public transport, and of course the fabulous people – that I flew back a second time three months later, staying in total two months. I'll be back in December for three months of thesis research. I just can't get enough of that city.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  16. Tony

    Something I don't like Melbourne is smoking along the street and transportation relies on tram so much.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:39 am |
  17. theAntiELVIS

    Most of the top cities feature socialized medicine – obviously the study was done by biased liberals. Everyone knows socialized medicine makes people's lives hell on Earth.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  18. Edgar Mushore

    Anyone who has been to Harare lately will immediately rubbish this list as cheap western propaganda serving some hidden interests. There are so many worse cities in the world than Harare, a vibrant, clean, safe and modern city.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  19. Rooiwillem

    To the theAntiELVIS – what are you smoking? Almost all developed countries in the world have adopted some form of Socialism – now called Liberal or Democratic Socialism in the free world, with the exception of the US. All have great lifestyles and quality of life across the broader community – not just a small group. I live in Australia and can get free education (or an interest free loan for university), free health care, family support, very low violent crime (200 homicides across the country in 2010) and live free and say what I want to everyone, including the Prime minister. What's there not to love? The US is slow to embrace more liberal forms of socialism and it shows in the gaps between rich and poor, the highest violent crime rate in the western world, limited opportunities for those born poor and a large segment of the urban population living in relative poverty (not shown in movies) – take trip out of San Diego or San Francisco – visit the suburbs you get warned about – I've been there. Long live socialized medicine!

    August 31, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  20. Lina

    This seems to be very biased towards Australia and Canada. I think there are plenty of other cities in the world that should rank much higher.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  21. Bob

    The only problem with Australia is that it is full of Australians!

    August 31, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  22. Ian

    Yes, it does seem to be biased towards Australia and Canada. Probably because they are among the countries with the highest quality of life, as seen in study after study. And the fact that they have socialized medicine just goes to show that they actually care about each other. The best way to judge a society is on how it treats its most dependent members.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:27 am |
  23. Ian

    PS Rooiwillem, I believe theAntiELVIS was speaking ironically.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  24. Juan G

    Would be very interesting to see for every country the rank of its most livable city. Would make comparison between countries easier. Knowing four out of the "best" ten, yes, they are definitely the most attractive cities I have been to. But even more attractive than cities is living in the country side if...if there were more cultural events. But internet and modern media has put cities and villages much more at a comparable level. But as concerns a job in interesting and intelligent projects, of course you have to live between millions.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:38 am |
  25. Zar

    Rather interesting that for all the xenophobic rantings of Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palindrome and their ilk about America's special place in the world, not a single American city figures in the top ten. Someone here, in the typical ignorant fashion of many Americns posted that these liveable countries have a low rate of immigration. FYI, Canada and Australia have very high rates of immigration. In fact, the U.N. ranks Toronto as being the multiple-culturally diverse city in the world, even ahead of New York. Others have knocked the so called socialist form of healthcare in these countries. Whatever it may be, you cannot argue these countries enjoy a far superior rate of healthcare compared to the U.S., where universal coverage is still being fought off tooth and nail by ignoramuses who don't realise whatbthey are doing to those who cannot afford healthcare. It's not a matter of being liberal or conservative, it's a matter of finding healthcare solutions that work for the larger population without make it a strain on the system. The fact that these countries have found solutions should be a wake up call for all Amercians to evaluate their systems and adopt methods that will work in the U.S. context, instead of knocking Obama as being a closet socialist. It's about finding solutions, stupid. Finally, one last point to highlight, is the fact these countries all have very strict gun control laws. Americans can debate all about whether it's people who kill people and not guns, but the fact remains undisputed that these countries with their strict gun control laws have a tiny fraction of gun crimes compared to the U.S. Again, there is a direct correlation, stupid. Wake up and fix things with some brains instead of being divided along party lines. Don't let the U.S. become any more of a basket case than it already is. Keep going on this route and you are going to destroy your hard fought gains from the last 200 years and be relegated to a pathetic set of morons who quib over idiotic things. Get with the program. Learn from the rest of the world.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  26. Rangoose

    Funny how none of the criteria are how much of your personal income you keep. Most of these cities would've been hit hard in that metric, due to high tax rates associated with govt-provided healthcare, welfare, and lavish infrastructure.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  27. Antje

    Then, why are there so many alcoholics in these Nordic cities. Or south, beerdrinking in Australia is as much a problem as in Finland. Clearly the parameters for judging livability are off. Far more likely Bayern and many parts of Germany are far better places, not to forget Switserland, Spain and Portugal.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  28. Kevin

    I live in Melbourne Australia and have lived in many places around the world. We have people from all over the world here – Arabs, Italians, Indians, Chinese from communist China and free countries, Greeks, Yugoslavs and Africans. It is a melting pot of for all nations and it works. The standard of living here is very high, but we also have the most expensive real estate and a second rate public transport system and a questionable state government. We minimal violence and not the level of government corruption that many other countries. We also are one of the most over-regulated countries on earth, and our education system is exemplary. Overall, Australia is the best place to live.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  29. Lex

    were can i find the entire list?

    August 31, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  30. qorray

    Austin, TX rocks... beware it's hot though!!

    August 31, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  31. Dirkje

    Isn't Australia (and Canada) where christmas cannot be called christmas any longer?

    August 31, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  32. ImPanda

    Funny how these supposed "s0shulist" countries almost always have the highest prosperity, happiness, and livability of them all.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  33. Zar

    At Rangoose. I lived and worked 7 years in the U.S., 7 years in Vancouver, 2 years in Hong Kong and few other places in between all these. I can tell you that while I got to keep more of what I made in the U.S. ( though only marginally), I got far less in return for the taxes I paid. The whole system in the U.S. needs to be revamped, from taxes, to who it is spent to who it is spent on. Spending all your money on building up your armed forces, squandering it on on wars, giving aid to countries that don't deserve it, propping up dictatorial regimes in the Gulf and elsewhere are only a few of the reasons why you are broke and cannot have a better standard of living. Charity as they say begins at home. Stop knocking that are doing right bybtheir people and fix your own house first. Parroting idiotic tea party statements about lesser taxes and smaller government is not going to solve your problems. In fact, if you do reach that stage where tea party idiots along with the neo- conservative small government propagators have their way, you'll realise what a big mistake it was. Come to think, given the level of brainless parroting you do with the tea party and republican conservative lines, perhaps that's exactly what you should get for the couple of decades. After you have completely destroyed the country like Argentina did to themselves, will you finally wake up and smell the coffee, or in this case the dung that the tea party and the republican party is feeding you.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  34. Skye

    Austin, TX is perfect perfect perfect except that it's located in Texas. I love Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Never been to Finland. If our country is stupid enough to elect a Rick Perry or Michele Bachman nutjob, I really might move to Vancouver! Hell, I might move to Vancouver anyway.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  35. Skye

    ImPanda said:

    "Funny how these supposed "s0shulist" countries almost always have the highest prosperity, happiness, and livability of them all."

    That, people. That.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  36. Zar

    At ImPanda, yes it is funny how these soshulist countries have the best liveability. It's also funny how Canada has the lowest debt to GDP ratio of any country in the world, while the U.S. and Italy are wallowing in debt and continuing to borrow like beggars from the rest of the world. Even more funny after borrowing trillions from the rest of the world, the U.S. still can't manage to get a single city on the most liveable list. Hey, isn't it really funny how each Amercan owes tens of thousands of dollars to each person in China and India. I think that's really funny. Don't you buddy?

    August 31, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  37. mach1pony

    I live in the states because of a job, but I'm from Canada. Spent 40 years there. There is NO comparison on health care, sorry Americans. I NEVER had a wait issue, and the focus on Canada is to cure the problem (they don't want you back). American doctors push expensive drugs and book you appointments every 3 months. Hospitals are an expensive joke. If you have something SERIOUS, like cancer AND have money, then US is a good place to be. Otherwise, you're screwed.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  38. Skye

    I adore Canada. I was born in the wrong country.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  39. Zar

    At Dirkje, aww shucks. Australians and Canadians have yet to reach the vulgar consumerism and personal debt levels of Americans during Christmas. So yes, I suppose by American standards, Christmas isn't Christmas in Australia or Canada.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  40. Sorely Frickey

    The U.S. is just very stressful? So is living the kind of life that will lead to discovering a cure for cancer or creating a cleaner, cheaper form of energy or inventing better transportation, etc. Achievement requires blood, sweat, and tears. How many cars, computers, or TVs have you bought from Australia, Canada, Finland, and New Zealand? How many life-saving medical procedures come from those places?

    August 31, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  41. roz

    I love Vancouver, Canada!!!

    August 31, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  42. Skye

    My television, car and computers were not made in the US. Oddly enough the most reliable cars on the road in the US are foreign made.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  43. Kat

    I left Toronto for the UK and although the UK can have a shockingly low standard of living and Canada is on that list a few times it doesn't make Canada any less boring when it comes to the arts or any less cold! I can't imagine ever moving back, I'd rather live in the US cause it's more exciting and in a city like NYC you have great public transport and no need for a car.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  44. Srdj

    wow. they forgot to mention that Vancouver and all the Canadian cities are super boring. The nature is great i must say...but there is really nothing to do in vancouver, and the people are super fake...and basically dont give a crap about others. people smile in your face but really they are thinking something else. double faced. most people are. plus because it is multicultural, the different cultures form their own groups and hang only with their kind....and they all act like they love everyone but really they just give a shit about their own kind.

    So, if you are planning to move to Vancouver, think the nice view of the mountains and forests really worth your boredom and lack of real friendships here. Think hard about that....cause the fact is, its really not.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  45. Joanne

    I'm surprised to see Helsinki on the list. What about the relatively high suicide rate there?

    August 31, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  46. Kat

    agreed with Srdj, I've never been to Vancouver but Toronto people are super snobby and cold and their politeness often gets confused for friendliness

    August 31, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  47. Mary

    Have you heard of GOZO? It's heaven on earth – sun, sea, history and best of all the friendly people.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  48. Skye

    I'd take boring over broken, corrupt and polarized by ignorance/superstition any day.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  49. Tony

    I have lived in Austin, Boston, Brussels, Vienna and Santo Domingo. I love Barcelona, Boston is cultural, Brussels is very well connected, Austin has excellent places to listen good music, Santo Domingo is near good beaches but Vienna is by far the best city I have lived in. It has the best public transportation system, beatiful buildings and museums, plenty green space, good food, and extremely good health care. The only bad thing about Vienna is winter that is as horrible as Boston.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  50. Andrew

    I live in Melbourne. Its a beautiful city like any other international city. It has people from all over like any other city. But what is interesting is that it was blemished by racist attacks against Asians and still these people rank it as No.1 livable city. Truly mind-boggling ranking.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  51. Another metric?

    I was on a holiday in Europe a few years back - and I visited Amsterdam, Holland/the Netherlands. And, yeah, I visited one of "those" cafes while there. Along with food and beverages, the menu included a list of ganja from many countries and cities. The waiter comes to my table to take my order and asks where I'm from - and, I tell him Vancouver, Canada. Then, he exclaims something like, "Hey, lucky you - and, you should be proud! Every year, we have a hemp festival that includes a contest measuring the THC concentration of weed from different strains (THC = the chemical in weed/ganja that makes one feel high). Last year, a strain from Vancouver won, and strains from there consistently do well!" I had a good laugh about this. Vancouver hydroponics - godda like it. Perhaps Vancouver would be No. 1 Liveable City by a long-shot if availability of high-quality weed were a metric?
    Sharing is caring - smile a while :)

    August 31, 2011 at 11:41 am |

    this is a lie

    August 31, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  53. Zar

    At Sorely Frickey, get you frickin facts straight ma man. Most innovations in the U.S. Have foreign names behind them. As for innovations, medical or otherwise, you'd do well to get you head out of the sand or probably you behind. Canada, Australia, Japan and heck even China innovate in all fields, including those fields believed to be exclusive domains of the U.S. It's dangerous xenophobic thinking like yours that has brought the U.S. to this sorry sad state of affairs. People like you are hurting the U.S. Bet you have hardly spent anyntime outside the U.S., save for your vacation to Cancun on borrowed money. If you actually take the time to explore the rest of the world, you'd be surprised atbhow backward the U.S. is now. Fortunately, there is still time. I'm not saying all this harshly because of any anti-U.S. bias. I spent 7 years in the U.S. living between New York and Santa Barbara, while traveling extensively through other parts of the U.S. I think the U.S. can become get it's old glory back. But you cannot do it with your kind of thinking. You need to pull your head out of your behind and do some serious soul searching for answers as to what went wrong. Let me give you some hints, it ain't immigration, it ain't taxes on the rich, it aint big government ad it sure ain't Obama. The American people got into this mess because your republican nut cases and now their new iteration the tea party gasbags have kept you ignorant. They have made things like Islam, high taxes and things like big government the bogeymen. Then you have the nut job liberals on the other hand who have squandered hard earned American tax dollars on all sorts of rubbish like supporting gay rights to giving aid to countries who don't deserve it. Whichever way you look at it, both the democrat liberals and republican conservatives have blown away your hard earned tax dollars. To top it all off, the average American is over his head in debtand continues to blow money like there is no tomorrow. If you consider the way Americans act now, believe me, you are not expending any blood,sweat and tears. All you're doing is blowing gas my friend and that is why you are well on your way to becoming a 3rd rate country in the not too distant future. As it is, after the childish fiasco the world witnessed during the debt ceiling crisis, it became obvious to the rest of the world that a new world order is coming and it doesn't factor the U.S. as a major player. Instead, countries that actually work hard and expend blood, sweat and tears like China are the ones to watch.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  54. Skye

    @Zar: Well said!

    August 31, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  55. Siesta Key

    Do not come to Sarasota or Siesta Key Beach. It is too crowded already.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  56. noteabags

    No surprise that not one American city is listed.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  57. Tad Pole

    I used to live in Madison WI, and then someone (I think it was Business Week) voted it the #1 place to live in the US. After that a noticable influx of people arrived, and new housing projects popped up all over the place to accomidate the wave of new Madisonians. Nothing against those that moved there, but I noticed a distinct downturn in the quality of life after. If your community is not on a "best places list" be happy, because they almost always suffer growing pains when it is. Currently I live near Vienna, but I'd never say where. :P

    August 31, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  58. JG

    I'm an American and I've longed to live somewhere like Canada (especially Toronto) for as long as I can remember. When I say somewhere like Canada I mean more "socialized" countries, though I use that term very loosely. I simply mean somewhere with a more diverse yet open-minded culture.

    I've visited Canda several times and the priorities are so much more in-line with the lifestyle I'd like to live. That is nothing to bash America whatsoever – I am grateful for all my freedoms and experiences that I've been fortunate enough to have here... I just see it as "different strokes for different folks" and the high-wired environment I experience (at least in my current environment, and other places I've visited in the U.S.) does not suit me very well.

    I have never visited Australia or Austria, but maybe I should after this survey =]

    Will someone from Canada please adopt me or something? I'll do your laundry for a year or something. Thanks!

    August 31, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  59. JG


    Very nice post. I think you have captured what a lot of younger Americans like myself realize. Most of us are much more well-traveled than our parents, and we understand a little bit more about different cultures, perspectives, views, etc.

    I'm not claiming my generation will be the saving grace that you allude to, but I DO think there are glimmers of positive change on the horizon – if not, count me in for a likely relocation :p

    August 31, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  60. Siesta Key

    All of you people living in other countries.....please stay there & do not move to America. America is a wonderful country and we do not need more people moving here.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  61. daveydave

    There are both happy people and miserable people in every city in the world. Happiness comes from within.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  62. Robert

    All this complaining that American cities aren't in the list. But we are in the list of Top 10 Fattest Nations! Yes!! We rock.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  63. Rob


    "Isn't Australia (and Canada) where christmas cannot be called christmas any longer"?

    That's just an retard/ignorant comment. Please get an education.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  64. sam kohen

    What about Detroit? Such a lively exciting city. Things always happening.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  65. Peter A

    Back in 2007 I had the opportunity to travel to Melbourne a few times on business. The more I visited the city, the more I liked it. For Australia to have four cities in the Top 10, says as much for the country as it does for those cities.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  66. Peter A

    @Bob 9:20am
    Funny that. However, when you go to parts of Melbourne (and Sydney as well), its full of Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians, Italians, Greeks, Lebanese.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  67. tj

    No city in Somalia amoung worst cities to live in?

    August 31, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  68. itravel

    Most immigrants in Australia and Canada are legal and have been carefully vetted for education and ability in English. Most immigrants in those countries also come from dynamic cultures in Asia. Social problems in Canada and Australia are rural and are connected to the relatively small numbers of indigenous people–Aborigines in Oz and Native Americans in Canada. Both groups have ENORMOUS problems, but they don't show up in surveys like this. Social problems in the US are connected to cities–with their large populations of AfricanAmericans and, lately, illegal immigrants. Illegals have few if any job skills and are often illiterate in their own language. Honolulu often ranks at the top of American cities in surveys like this. Why? It has very few illegals or African Americans.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  69. Terry

    I agree with the list. Every one of the top cities listed is a great place to visit and reside. It all comes down to the people living in these cities, and they all have great residents.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  70. Kai Jorgensen

    That list is way off!!
    Where is Copenhagen??
    Apart from rather high taxes which, by the way, pay for very exceptilonal services, there is no more peaceful and high quality place to live.
    So there

    August 31, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  71. Shahin

    This is ridiculous, why should Tehran be on the bottom?? It's a beautiful city with less criminality than any of these European cities. The only reason why it's not recommended to Westerners is because of the applied Islamic laws, and even those will soon be gone...

    I smell bias.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  72. sam kohen

    You left out Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Heaven on earth

    August 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  73. Peter A

    @Dirkje 10:03 am

    If they don't call it Christmas.... they certainly celebrate it!

    August 31, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  74. Jim

    Call a place paradise and kiss it goodbye.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  75. ms

    South African cities are the worst.Rape of men,women,children,babies,animals every thirty seconds.
    Assault of children every 15 minutes.Littering on every visible peice of developed land,ridiculous service delivery,
    xenophobia,overrated services,overpaid executives,poor quality housing.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  76. Kevin

    I have lived in Austin TX too as well as Melbourne where I live now (well travelled). Austin's road system is a bit of a mess and has gotten a lot worse with poorly planned roads (except Mopac). Car accidents are commonplace (silly 4 way stop signs) and public transport is almost non-existent. But Melbourne is far more cosmopolitan and definitely much better weather in summer. Far fewre accidents with a much greater population too. Still, I did love Austin (the music capital of the world) but Melbourne is best..

    August 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  77. R1man

    Pittsburgh was ranked 29th in the world which is the highest for a U.S. city just ahead of Honolulu and Los Angeles.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  78. Jackblob

    The top cities are in countries that provide for their citizenry through social programs, universal healthcare, etc. America, not so much. America is more interested in protecting the right to bear arms that enshrining the right to healthcare. In America, the weak shall perish.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  79. Santa Claus

    How is Detroit not on the worst list? I won't even deliver presents there anymore.

    They shot Blitzen and stole bells of my sled last year. Screw that city.

    August 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
  80. DoIreally havetoo

    I would never vote Melborn as No.1
    Its full of %$#%$# Australians for %$@# sake...

    August 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  81. moosh

    Australia and Canada have commodities in common. Their economies are doing well because the prices for commodities and raw materials strong and are bringing large amounts of external income into the respective country. Once the commodity bubble bursts, the "livability" in Australian and Canadian cities will drop. I currently live in Vienna and I can tell you the livability is fine, but it's no paradise. Without the UN and OPEC and a few other international organizations, Vienna would fall off the list as well.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  82. DaBurgh

    Well, I don't care what they say. I live in Pittsburgh and it will always be the best place to live for me. It's a beautiful place to live!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  83. Huntathon

    @Rangoose For your information, Australia has among the lowest taxes in the developed world. Talk about things you actually understand!!!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  84. Ignacio

    Making a ranking of "the best cities" or "the most livable cities of the world" is such a foolish idea! The position wil all come down to the preferences of whoever made the study! I am sure several of these cities may be great places to live (for some people) but others would feel much better at totally different places on Earth...I adore Latin countries and I do not find anything about the great places of Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica or Peru here...Perhaps there is a great bias, I think...BTW I would never change a winter in Helsinski or Calgary for a winter in Rio de Janeiro, you know...

    August 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  85. Michael

    Not one US City. Perhaps the health system being so bad in the US is to blame.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  86. JJGR

    @Rex Remes,

    Not sure how things are in the deep South where you might be, but Canada and Australia are countries made up foreigners almost entirely. The difference is that they are more selective in their immigration policies. If immigration were the culprit, African and Arab countries where no one moves to would not be at the bottom of the list.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  87. Doug

    I got married in Melbourne – no way would I live there again! And this report obviously did not include problems with the ozone layer (14-15 most days in the summer).

    August 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  88. Lachman

    The bottom 10 list is not correct the filthiest city is my home town its called MUMBAI located in India, I visit sometimes since I live abroad now but the minute the plane lands in Mumbai I want to leave immediately its so bad

    August 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  89. Happy Ex-Vancouverite

    Anyone who believes Vancouver deserves high rankings on a livable city list has either never lived there or never lived away from it. I spent the first 20 years of my life there and can tell you that it is cloudy and overcast about 6 out of 7 days with endless drizzle. It is situated less than 100 km away from the area which receives the highest rainfall in all of North America (Bellevue, WA). The North West is a temperate rain forest. If you like the sun in your life, stay clear! The average high temperature this summer was 18 degrees Celsius = 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit! That doesn't qualify for any definition of summer.

    Furthermore, my friends and family, those few who didn't leave Vancouver, lament constantly about how they have been driven out of the city center where they grew-up and been forced to live in the suburbs as immigration has caused sky-rocketing real estate prices in Vancouver. Quite simply, you'll only be able to move and live in the city itself if you're rich.

    Ultimately, if you're even slightly meteopathic or living a middle–class existence, you'll find almost any other city with a reasonable standard of living much more satisfying than Vancouver. If you like: good food, great weather, attractive people who understand work-life balance, well then try Italy. It's where I live now and I've never looked back!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  90. Huntathon

    @ Andrew, I live in Melbourne too and there haven't been any significant racial attacks against anyone in Melbourne. Crime rates against people of African or Asian origins is exactly the same as those against people of any other ethnic background. It is just sensationalist media that blows it out of proportion when someone who is Indian for example is beat up and robbed. They don't mention in the media, the number of Anglo-saxon people who the same thing happened to that day. In fact over the last 3 decades we have seen reported racist incidents decrease by 2/3's. Get your facts straight buddy!!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  91. Aurelius1947

    How about Paris, TEXAS!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  92. Santa Claus

    Paris, Texas is a hellhole.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  93. Paul

    I was born in the US in 1966 and lived there until 2000 when I moved to Australia. I am now living in Melbourne. I have been too many places in the world and I have to agree with the study this is a great place to live. Also I need to get my dig in on socialized medicine. Americans are totally brainwashed by the right wing media and medical PACs that convince you its bad. Its not its great but you believe what you want to believe up to you. I am in Australia, working, and happy....

    August 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  94. Dan

    Perth – Australia No#8 was voted No1 place of DullsVille last year. the only benefit of perth is that its clean,

    other than that your looking at a minimum rent of $400 per week anywhere in the whole of western australia, Huge cost of housing ie. $500,000 for a junk house in a junk area, the state and country is surviving entirely on the Mining Boom, however all other industries are suffering badly, shops closing down everywhere. Cost of food is through the roof, ie. avg $30 for a spagetti bog at local average italian restaurant, $11.50 points of beer!

    lack of activities for the youth to do, ie. 1 old run down roller skating rink in the entire state, which is miles away from suburbs, a government that wants to spend a billion dollars on a sports entertainment centre for people to 'watch' football. eat and get fat, if they will be able to afford the $200 tickets to the football event!

    im sorry, but if you actually surved the average joe and not millionairs living in these so called "Top 10 places to live in the world" then you will get a much different answer

    Look forward on seeing other comments about Perth Australia

    August 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  95. stevie weevie

    So are you telling us the more "white" your city is, the better? Looks like it, according to your rankings.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  96. James

    Unlike the USA, Australia does not host concentration camps where people are tortured and imprisoned without a proper trial.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  97. quantlabs

    If waiting in a dysfunctional and dirty old hospital for 12 hours for basic service within Toronto makes it livable, I think my dumb gerbil would do better research. What pile of crud about Toronto being livable. Please check the hospital system before reporting this next time!!!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  98. WanabeKiwi

    Aukland, NZ made this - I agree. great city, great people. I fell ill when I was there, walked into a doctor's office, and they took care of me for free. Just had to pay a minimal price for some anti-biotics. and I'm a US citizen!!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  99. Kitty Hancock

    Vienna is the most enviromentally active place, people are respectful of each other. low crime or violence, women are ssfe, the best public transporations, no trash. people care about their surrounding and the future, taxes are given back to the people in many holiday, maternity leaves, family benefits for all, Government cares about the people and insures education along with great heath care. Happy my daughter married an Austrian, living in Vienna to open my eyes to cultural and architecttural showplace after growing up in Texas... need I say any more.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  100. ofCanada

    Well itravel (12:23 pm post), your opinion is merely racism disguised to look like reason. First, "social problems" are not defined rurally in Canada. There are a lot of different social issues, some rural others urban, etc.

    Second, the social problems plaguing Aboriginal communities in both Canada and Australia are largely based on colonization and therefore completely involving the invading white communities. In the same vein, there are a huge number of social problems stemming from the effects of slavery, segregation and continued racism affecting the African American community.

    Certainly there are issues specific to the people involved, and I'm not saying no responsibility should be taken by each community, but to point fingers at Native and Black communities whose societies are inexorably linked to the colonial/White community is willfully blind.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  101. Mike Poole

    I remember back in the day when they gave facts to back up articles. A couple bullet points doesn't really provide the criteria that was used to make this determination. I want to see numbers. What I would like to see is the list of the top cities from 20 years ago and how the are doing today.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  102. Ex-Aussie

    After living in Australia for more than 6 years and spending nearly a million dollars getting my permanent residency there, I moved back to the States. I missed the sense of community (yes in my opinion achieving community is much easier here than in Australia), and the lower cost of living. I missed being able to hunt and not being told how far from the curb I can place my lawn sprinkler. I do miss the health care in Oz, but don't miss the high taxes! Corruption is pretty endemic in Government there as well (old boy network) and the government is very liberal by American standards. My favorite place to live? Nairobi, Kenya.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  103. Ex-Aussie

    Dan, I agree with you 100%!

    August 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  104. ofCanada

    This idea that paying taxes is just plain bad is an example of how well marketing works on the masses. If your taxes go into making your life much better, then its money well spent. Somebody posted that how much money you get to keep should be taken into account—implying that if you didn't have it taxed, you would get to spend it, but if you spend it, rather than squirrel it away for the possible/probable hospital bills you're going to face you will eventually see huge debt.

    August 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  105. Dennis

    One thing they don't seem to mention is the high cost of living in any of those cities and I'm not talking taxes. Australia has the largest houses in the world...Except you have to live in the middle of nowhere. If you live in Sydney you pay 2-3 times what you pay in the U.S. for a comparable home in terms of rent. For an actual 4 bedroom home that is completely ordinary in every respect on a very small plot of land you're talking $1million+ (I know, I bought a 4 bedroom home for $1.2 million). The cost of food is outrageous, utilities are through the roof. HOWEVER, if you can afford it then it's a nice place to live unless you like to travel. Then it costs you several thousand dollars to get anywhere except deserted islands. Since you're living on a deserted island already this has less appeal than you think. Then there's the arrogance. Australians are not friendly people unless you're a white liberal...that's not Liberal (their version of conservative). They have very real race issues there and a very unhealthy form of nationalism. Don't believe me? Check the Australian news of the Sydney Morning Herald. The crime is no different there than it is in the U.S. I think many of the people doing the ratings for this are very biased towards some idea of a far flung or isolated Utopia and frankly it's just not true. Australia is a nice place but having lived there for 18 years and then having started spending 1/2 of my year in the U.S. again....I'd much rather be in the U.S. The politics here are ridiculous and the general level of ignorance is astounding but when I meet Bogans from the western suburbs or The Shire it's the same in Australia. The U.S. is a very exciting place to live and I'm sorry but the same cannot be said for Australia. Oh and all those cultural events and entertainment in Australia? See how much of that you actually get to see when you discover a ticket to go see an international band (not a stadium act) at a venue of 2-3 thousand people is $125 each. The perception of what Australia and New Zealand are is way out of kilter for what they really are...nice places in their own right but certainly not the most liveable cities in the world. If your idea of liveable is a low cost of living, access to affordable travel, low taxes and cutting edge events and technology then Australia is not it. The health care system is fantastic though and reveals the healthcare system of the U.S. to be exactly what it is...An enormously expensive joke.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  106. vinny

    what a surprise that the ten worst cities to live are either in Africa or in the terrible Middle East. If you take alook at the demographics on these twenty, another not so surprising stat will jump out at you. I dont need to spell it out. I also notice no american cities are on this list which isnt exactly shocking considering we have the worst President and Congress in history and more than half the country suffers from depression and anxiety.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  107. Fort Lauderdale

    I would put Fort Lauderdale, FL high on the livable list too, good year round weather, lots of things to do, but somewhat expensive.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  108. Swimmer

    I like what Bob said: "The only problem with Australia is that it's full of Australians." !!! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels this way. Nearly every Australian I meet is full of bravado and self-righteousness. I work alongside them; it's so annoying. They constantly complain and 'speak their mind,' as if that's a positive trait. People complain about Mexican machismo but Australians, male and female, demonstrate more machismo for sure.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  109. Zar

    At Siesta key. Nobody is stating America is not a wonderful place. Heck, a lot of the people who seem like they're bashing America would like to see it get back it's greatness and would be willing to give an arm to do so if it weren't for defensive people like you who bash anyone who aims anything that seems like criticism. Americans are always machoistic about taking it like it is. Well, here's your chance. Take it like it is from others whonwishnyou well and can teach you a thing or two about good governance. Don't work on the dangerous assumption that is it ain't American, it ain't kosher. There is a lot of things to be learned from the rest of the world. However, I wouldn't give much credit to the guy on here (Happy ex-Vancouverite) who asks that people emulate Italy. If there is one country that is an even bigger basket case than the U.S. when it comes to reckless spending and fiscal irresponsibility, it's Italy. Don't believe me, consider this. The debt to GDP ratio of the U.S. is 85%, while it's 148% in Italy. They may look good and have better weather than Vancouver, but they are a people and country headed in an even worse direction than the U.S. For all the criticisms aimed at Vancouver, learn from Canada as a whole. Their debt to GDP ratio is only 35%. Unlike their American cousins, Canadians actually save money for those things that matter, like their homes, which is why a whopping huge percentage of Canadians pay off their mortgages in an average of just 7 years. How do they do it, simple, they just prioritise their spending. Like the American millionaires listed in the book "the Millionnaire next door", Canadians are not a spend thrift people,w at least not to the extent of the Americans. Their banks are fully solvent and do not take reckless risks. Their system has a lot of transparency resulting in lower levels of corruption and ill-spent money. Of course, not all things are panacea is Canada. I'm a naturalized citizen of Canada and I can tell you they have their share of problems. For example, the 7 years I spent in the U.S. I face absolutely no racism. I'm not white. At the same time, when I first moved to Vancouver, I sensed racism almost immediately. However, that's not to say that there is less racism in America. In fact, I believe racism is more deep rooted in the U.S. as evidenced by the kind of vitriolic attacks you see on blogs against Obama. Racism is far more institutionalized in the U.S. In Canada, it is a little more blunt. Ironically, I was pleased to see that Canada also has in place mechanisms to officially combat and punish racism, which they take more seriously compared to lip service in the U.S. At the end of the day, there are things that make both countries great. Unfortunately, the attitudes of a few people in the U.S. who are the ones doing the most shouting from rooftops are destroying the fabric of what made America great. To those who can recognise the threat these idiots pose, and I include everyone from misguided liberals who support unnecessary causes to republicans and tea party gas bags who espouse hate and dissent, take your country back from these fools who are taking you for a ride. Stand up against hate speech and ill-conceived programs of both parties and stand up for common sense instead. You can argue that when there are so many people suffering in the U.S., the government should not be giving aid to Egypt, Pakistan and Israel, to name a few. Spend the money at home and save yourbown people. Instead of wasting valuable tax dollars on debating same sex marriages, use that money to improve and increase infrastructure. Instead of spending money fighting wars, demand that America's so called allies including Canada and Australia spend a proportionate amount ton their wealth and affluence. Instead of sending young Americans to die on battlefields they know nothing about, insist that other countries also make the ultimate sacrifice. Instead of propping up rich middle east regimes that torture, maim and kill their own people, use the money wastednon protecting those despots to protecting your own people from the ravages of the recession and unemployment. I could give you many, many more items to fix first at home. So before you criticize someone for taking a potshot at America, due some self reflection on whether their criticisms have merit. It'll do you and the rest of the world a whole lot of good. I promise.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  110. tony brown

    I have lived in two of the top ranked cities and visited the others all deadly boring places

    August 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  111. lorne

    i live in calgary
    low unemployment . 5.4 %
    no mortage mess ,

    August 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  112. Henry

    The reason these places are the "best" places to live is that they are not inundated with three generations of entitlement/underclass/urban ghetto inhabitants, and they also do not have an open border with tens of thousands of illegal immigrants (most with the equivalent of a 4th grade American education) entering the country, only to be supported by hard working middle-class Americans (of all races). Crime is lower because education is more of a priority and the traditional "nuclear family" is still alive and well.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  113. John

    Whoever mentioned low immigration is completely nuts. 8 of the top 10 cities have one thing in common. They are primarily Anglo-Saxon cities that have had a HUGE influx of Asian immigrants (Chinese, Indian, others) that contribute to the tax base. I would venture all these cities have a higher legal immigration rate than say Dallas or Paris. They also are strongly encourage this growth.

    The other two Helsinki & Vienna, happen to be very nice mid-sized capital cities of two well run countries that also benefit from being bridge countries between Eastern Europe and Western Europe. This has kept their economies above the rest. Vienna has a sizable Immigrant community even though not like Old Vienna in 1910 when it was only 30% German.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  114. Danny

    I'm from Calgary and love visiting the U.S.. On the surface there's not much of a discrepancy. The biggest factor is the separation between rich and poor. Most communities have million dollar houses and starter homes, blending soci-economic backgrounds which prevents the "projects". Sure the cheap smokes and booze is nice down south but I'd rather pay more and help out those without. Calgary is the oil and gas hub of Canada. You'd have to try not to get a job. Clean air, mountain view, and free health care (though wait times are painful). Maybe because it's damn cold here in the winter, but people really look out for each other – much more than the U.S.. Another thing is crime. Detroit and Calgary both have a population of 1 million people. Detroit has 250 murders this year, Calgary has 5.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  115. Paul

    After growing up in Switzerland and travelling the world for many years, Perth Australia is the best place I've ever been and lived in. Clean air, save environment, relaxing lifestyle, great sporting opportunities, especially outdoors, very family and kids friendly, new great small bar culture ... the list goes on and on. It doesnt' get any better than this!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  116. Scott

    Funny you mention that Canada and Australia have among the highest immigration rates. How many of those immigrants are uneducated, illegal, and undocumented? Not that many huh? If they did you would see their "Free" health care system destroyed. Whenever you have a large population taking from the system, but not giving back your living on borrowed time. I don't understand why we keep having to explain that socialism does not work when its already failed every time.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  117. Hillary

    No American cities and Americans think America is the best country in the world. It is not...I am sure most of these cities do not have the crime America has.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  118. vman

    Rex Remes! read!listen! and learn please! before you comment on things you don't understand!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  119. vman

    all of the cities in the top ten are heavily effected by immigration..

    August 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  120. JosefBleaux

    Anywhere there aren't any teabaggers would be heaven!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  121. CanadaFTW

    Wow....As a Canadian, it's amazing to see what some American's think of Canada..... No, we don't border a country with many illegal aliens coming through each day.....HOWEVER, I bet your tune would change if the US economy crumbled and the only jobs left were in Canada. Suddenly, it'd be your RIGHT to cross over regardless of legality and work. But you know what? We'd love to have you. That's the real difference. You'd be welcomed, be allowed to share in our healthcare and climate (brrrrrr) and be welcomed as Canadians. We love you guys! We just wish you knew more about us :(

    August 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  122. Jay

    What makes Australia and Canada (and Finland) so livable? Among other things they are secular countries where religion has little influence.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  123. Hope

    Why is Australia so livable? No worries.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  124. mike2626

    How about most of these countries on here not having to contribute much (if anything) to a large national defense. I mean hell, one country pays to put people on horses to protect its borders! When you don't have billions flowing to a national defense, you can afford a lot of other luxuries and benefits these nations enjoy!

    August 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  125. Tom

    The political/religious right-wing in the USA keep it in the sewer.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  126. JHarm

    What makes a place "most liveable" is for each of us to decide by what makes us happy and our lives enjoyable. If one loves warm beaches and beautiful blue water, Vancouver is not for you. These lists are all opinion that border on sappy. CNN and others post these lists to goad us into doing these pointless posts. And, like so much in today's discourse, they become another venue for partisan political spew, huh, Zar? I've lived all over the US and spent a considerable amount of time in other parts of the world. I'm an American and I want to live in America as do millions of others, who spend much of their time trying to figure out how to get here. If there was a free travel corridor from the Rio Grande directly to the Canadian border, I wonder how many illegals entering from Mexico would continue through or jump the corridor fence to stay in Texas, Colorado, etc.. "Most Liveable?" Please.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  127. Parkerman

    odd, I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Rocky Mountains Colorado. Fresh clear streams, cheap health care, quiet towns, mild weather, sking in Winter. You can't have it any better. Not sure what they are basing this study on, but the US has a lot to offer, you just need to go out and find it.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  128. Zar

    At Scott. You're absolutely right. Canada and Australia are selective in their immigration screening process. But you're wrong in blaming illegal immigrants with low education and skill sets for America's problem. And you're also wrong in assuming that any country that provides a universal healthcare system is automatically socialist. That kind of statement just belies what is wrong with America today. People like you are ignorant to begin with and are rich pickings for tea party gas bags and their other conservative republican charlatans. To protect the rich and ensure that they richer, they pull the wool over idiots like you who they know will not donthe necessary research and think for themselves. Reflect on this. Have you ever considered that despite the millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S., they cannot be more of a drain than a few billion dollars at best. That's stretching it, considering they don't have access to public schooling (at least the ones who weren't born there and jumped the fence). They don't have easy access to Medicare or Medicaid and they don't have easy access to other social services. Now consider this. How many hundreds of billions are given in aid to countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Israel and Jordan, to name a few. And this is every year. Add that up over a decade and it'll come to a few trillion. Of course, the average Joe schmoe like you is too busy listening to tea gas baggers and neo-conservatives rail against immigration, which they use to distract you from the real culprits of America's financial mess. Along the same lines of my argument about illegal immigration not being the root of your problems, consider another few bogeymen that people of your ilk like to blame, e.g. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs are not socialist my friend, contrary to what your tea party and republican puppet masters would like you to believe. It is also not welfare programs as typically espoused by brainless liberal democrats. These are programs for which generations of Americans have worked for, toiled over a lifetime of work with the hope that these programs will help tide over some of their retirement expenses. They paid into those programs.and what if these programs cost the government thousands of billions. Ordinary Americans have paid with their sweat, blood and toil for these benefit that you would writeoff as being entitlements typical of "socialism". If you were in the shoes of those who depend on social security or Medicare checks, then you'd not call it socialism. It's too bad that ignoramuses like you can't even look up what it means to be socialist. Even worse, it's even worse that your math skills are so pathetic that you cannot do some simple calculations to see that bit actually things like defines spending, fighting unnecessary wars, aid to countries that don't deserve it, propping up rich despots amongst other equally stupid and similarly asinine things thatngot you into this 14 trillion dollar mess. It's not immigration, stupid, and it sure as hell ain't socialism.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  129. ex. Torontonian

    Um, I'm leaving Toronto for the reason that IT IS NO LONGER liveable...... its just not affordable to the average familly unless you want to live in a shoebox, commute almost 3 hours a day or are rich.

    August 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  130. Kyle M

    With the exception of Vienna, this list seems pretty skewed towards English-speaking cities/countries...coincidence? I say no.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  131. J.M. Ging

    I just read at least 5 posts that had both "USA spending is out of control" and "USA needs social healthcare". So you want to complain about spending yet you would have us add a federal social program which would be larger than any current federal social services(FBI, DEA, USDOT, etc). I like some of the things socialized healthcare presents. But you are talking about a country with a MASSIVE Health Insurance business. Blue Cross Blue Shield has hundreds of thousands of American employees, as do the other big insurance companies. I'm all for hitting insurance companies hard with regulation, we have to be in on the ground floor assuring these guys run an ethical gig, these are peoples lives were talking about. Successful regulation will squash the insurance horror stories, and it will keep the health insurance industry in the peoples hands, private jobs ALWAYS trump public jobs in economics. Going to true socialized medicine would constitute, completely erasing every health insurance job in America as well as the economic value of those companies, basically removing every doctor, nurse, and hospital manager and telling them they are now a government employee or unemployed, and if employed, for less money. Its wrong for us to put Health Insurance companies in a position where saying no to saving someones life becomes a fiscal decision. But we can change that without stripping America's health system of the autonomy it enjoys, as well as the economic impact it brings.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  132. BH

    As a Canadian living in the States, I always note how sadly ignorant the average American is of the outside world and of course, when Canada is mentioned how the topic immediately switches to the evils of socialized medicine. You never hear a Canadian talk about "socialized medicine", you hear about "Universal Healthcare", how much Canadians pay for it and the time it takes to see a specialist. Canada has demonstrated that the government cannot fund a first class system by itself and the US has demonstrated that the Medical System is first class, but only for those who can afford it. Hell, even Sarah Palin admitted to her and her family making trips into the Yukon Territory to get medical services. That to me is proof positive that affordable healthcare was available for the average American – In Canada. BTW: Ms. Palin, there are no "death panels" in Canada. There is a first group of doctors and nurses who fight tooth and nail for their patients and are constantly ringing the alarm bell on how the system is underfunded.

    Each system will not work in each other’s country – that is for certain. What Canada needs is to enable what is called a "two tier" healthcare system – so that the private system can use a percentage of public resources for a fee. The monies earned then go back in to the public system.

    The US system is much more complex to solve. I am amazed about the a la carte system that people have come to expect. Yes having the choice is always better, but isn't there a limit? Costs are skyrocketing, no centralized billing system, each state has their own special laws and regulations, etc, etc. Meanwhile, the "social safety net" for average families has all but disappeared and people still lose their houses and life savings when a family member has an accident or has a serious illness. The "Sucks to be you" attitude shown by an increasingly number of our "leaders" is simply deplorable. How can these people honestly sleep at night is beyond me.

    In Canada, my politics would group me in the status of a "Red Tory". In the US it would be a "Conservative with a conscience". I wish more conservatives here would demonstrate the same behaviour.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  133. Jason

    The differences between the US and Australia/Canada that makes the difference are very obvious.
    (1) Wealth distribution there is more even – unlike the US, where a few do have all the wealth cornered
    (2) Taxes are higher, and people pay them so life for everyone is better, rather than the US mindset ("why do I have to give MY money to the evil government")
    (3) They have universal health care
    (4) They are far more liberal than US in almost every way, from God to guns to gays. Their "right wing" party is like the left wing in the US.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  134. Zar

    At Jharm. My friend, you can call it political partisanship. You can call it a pointless set of postings. You can be sarcastic about "Most liveable". The fact is, all of these did goad you on because you there is a hurtful element of truth. As a patriotic American, it toads you that somebody somewhere using criteria that you may not agree with ranked other countries better to live than the U.S. My advice, even though I kmow you'll be defensive enough to not take it, don't think of it as criticism or partisanship, because I assure you from the bottom of my heart it's not. I lived in the U.S. for 7 years and still have very fond memories of my time. I would like America to regain it's place as the house on top of the mountain. But if you truly reflect honestly instead of getting defensive, you will admit that the political discourse in America now is on a very dangerous path. It's a path that assures destroying policies, not constructive ideas that need to be executed urgently. So don't take it personally, take it on the chin like a man and deal with it using common sense. And encourage others around you to do the same.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  135. New Englander

    Let me start by saying everyone is partial to there home myself included. I have lived in Melbourne and Paris and London I am currently living in Stockholm with my family for my work. My family refuses to sell our house in Connecticut so we will always have our home there. the US is our home and we can not wait to get back. ALL cities have a good side and a bad side. And as far as socilized medicine goes from what we just went through with my sons recently broken arm this system is horible. It took two days to get him into a cast. Next time any of my family members get sick or injured we are flying back to the US. I prey that the US does not go that route. Again ALL cities have there pros and cons but there is no place like home... I am an American and VERY proud of it.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  136. jvancouver

    I am from the suburbs of Vancouver because I cannot afford a million dollar house or half million dollar condo(800 ft2), but the pricess in the suburbs are the same as in any big city in canada, 500k for a house. It is a great place to live, peace and quiet, although cloudy. I used to live in frozen Alberta, but there is a nice balance of life here. Your quality of life lessens when it's -30 outside(Edmonton...) and the winter is 6 months long. I do like the USA very much, and I hope they eventually become the great country they should be and offer a great quality of life for all its citizens, but they seem to be stuck in the wild-wild west mentality, where it's every man for himself. A society must have stability, education (gives poor people a this will reduce your crime rate), health care for all (the middle class will never be able to afford a $200,000 operation, and yes, you do like socialization( car insurance, police, fire fighters...). Don't believe everything millionaires say, how do you think 10,000 US millionaires control 200 million voters? Get them to believe and support Replublican policies...

    August 31, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  137. Marie

    If relocating with my (large) pet wouldn't be so difficult I'd move to Aussie country or Canada in a heartbeat...even Alaska has one road in /out -very treacherous, I understand...otherwise must take a flight...Plus, cage pet, etc., etc.- not very comfortable for him... and if want to move to Hawaii...that state quarantines the animal for ?? several weeks/ month or so...

    August 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  138. Sean

    Of course the US isnt on the top ten list.. The main criteria for getting on it is having nationalized health care.. If having the most advanced health care system in the world were the main criteria then the US would be the only country on the list.. But these lists are simply put together so the world can feel good about being socialists and so they can somehow "prove" they are better than the US somehow.. Keep trying world..

    August 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  139. Marie

    New Englander
    ...My understanding is that Canada has a better Health care plan / medical treatment than the quick. Not sure if true of all areas of Canada...

    August 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  140. Jason

    @Sean, tell that to the thousands going bankrupt in the US every year simply because someone in their family has a health problem. If a country cannot take care of basic health problems of its own citizens, it is not a civilized country, let alone "best system in the world".

    August 31, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  141. RRS

    I could not wait to leave Adelaide for the US. But now that I'm here, I've realized I had it really good in Adelaide.
    Not too large of a city (no major traffic jams). Surrounded by parklands. Quick drive to a nice beach (or a tram ride). Good food, excellent wine. Winters not that harsh. Plenty of festivals to keep you busy. Free museums. Excellent univeristy. Whats not to love?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  142. James

    Another biased pro-west list.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  143. Guy

    How is Vancouver a most liveable city??? It costs an arm and a leg to live there.. the median price for a house there is upwards around $700,000!!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  144. SP

    Christmas isn't Christmas by American standards in Perth. It's generally 30-35 degrees celcius (85-105F), dry and sunny. The closest to white you'd get would be the sand on the beach. Sure people may call it Dullsville, and yes it can be, but compared to most cities in the world, safety, healthcare and infrastructure is good.

    As for the US, whilst I completely disagree with those opposed to subsidised healthcare, it must be managed to reduce strain on the budget. An economy that is excessively capitalist or socialist does no one favours.

    On one hand, you must look after the disabled, the poor, the elderly. It's a good idea as it encourages social cohesion, prevents revolutions, and it's the humane thing to do. On the other hand, providing too many services for free leads to misallocation of resources or not encouraging risk therefore entrepreneurial spirit leads to a stagnant economy.

    The US should work towards a healthcare "safety net". This is not "socialised medicine", or free healthcare, but merely subsidised so that it is in reach of far more than currently whilst encouraging a more efficient service so as not to destroy the budget.

    As for budgets, the US unfortunately has a heavy burden placed on it for maintaining world peace. It deserves far more respect from the countries of the world for being the guarantor of world peace. It sickens me when people who benefit from the stability of the US acting as the World's police force wish for American failure.

    Good work to all you Americans. Here's at least some recognition from an Australian that stands by you!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  145. Jerry Swanson

    I love Vancouver, Canada. The people are very friendly, great government, awesome climate, the greatest scenery in the world, health care is second to none and I;m a former resident of Texas who has travelled extensively throughout the world.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  146. Guy

    Meanwhile, in Canada itself, it lists Ottawa as it's most liveable city... the city is also the most affordable city in Canada to live in.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  147. scruffy duffy

    i wouldn't even consider moving to canada or australia but would love to live in (parts of) africa. too funny. clearly i'm not a typical human. too each their own - we are all looking for something different.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  148. jvancouver

    @Sean, the US Health Care industry would be soo proud of you, bravo! Who cares if you fellow Americans don't have health care, can't get that surgery? How can you be a proud American if you don't give a rats @ss about other Americans?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  149. Began

    The list is ridiculous. Tehran is the 2nd worst city to live ? Even worse than Sudan, Rawanda, Kabul Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, West Bank, and even Detroit ? You must be out of your mind. This list is like people magazine's annual "50 most beautiful people" list where over 80% are Americans and the sad thing is over 90% of Americans believe it. People are so ignorant there and Medias try to manipulate news. Frankly, Journalism is dead in America. There are only propagandas. SHAME ON Money Magazine !!!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  150. J.M. Ging

    @Jason "Taxes are higher, and people pay them so life for everyone is better, rather than the US mindset". Is that so Jason? Yes the U.S. has relatively low PERSONAL INCOME TAX rates, but we also have the 2nd highest CORPORATE TAX RATE in the world, causing millions of jobs to go overseas to your beloved countries with their high income tax yet slim to non existent corporate tax. Our politicians have been saving face with low income tax rates, which produce voters, while at the same time undercutting jobs by taxing the bajesus out of corporations, who in turn move to Ireland where corporate taxes are a third of what we see here. Basically you can raise the income tax all you want, but the tax revenue coming in to Washingon each year will slowly dwindle unless we give big businesses SOME kind of motivation, SOME reason to actually be here. Because like it or not, private companies, drive this country. You can tax Warren Buffet 50% on his income if you'd like, but he's still gonna move a million jobs to Ireland if he's looking at a 30% corporate tax vs a 5% corporate tax. Keep believing the whole "Higher taxes make everyone happier thing", big guy. We'll see how happy everyone is when our economy is 1/3 of what it once was because the government squeezed job creators until they popped.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  151. Susan

    Been to #s 2, 3 & 4, guess my next trip w/b to #1. Could live in either Vancouver or Vienna, but not so sure about Toronto. Then again, not sure about anywhere that has SNOW!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  152. Hipaa Gordon

    Akron, Ohio had 3 murders overnight; I can understand why it's not on anybody's Top 10.

    However, who wouldn't be safe living in Greenwich, CT (unless that Michael Skakel got out of jail again?) It's a lovely neighborhood full of rich people. They don't have problems, or do they?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  153. eamon

    And Baghdad?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  154. Chris S

    Seems like sticking in the commonwealth was a good idea seeing as 8/10 of these cities are a part.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  155. Scott

    I've been working on getting a Work Visa for Australia so I can get out of the U.S. before the whole house of cards collapses.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  156. Truth

    And why are those the best places to live in the world? No damn ni&&ers.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  157. Frank from Canada

    Good day everyone.... I think that most cities in the world has its unique charm, creating a unique experience to marvel at that no other city has. From that perspective, we are all in the top 10. To my fellow Americans, who I admire so much for all the greatness you have brought and conitinue to provide the world with, a sincere thank you! No one can take that legacy away for milleniums to come and I'm so glad you are our neighbors. – That being said, please allow my thoughts and observations, subject to discussion and debate of course, hopefully leading to concensus and working together with common goals: I do enjoy living in Ottawa, population 1 million with "only" 6 homicides with 8 months into the year. I also enjoy free health care for everything from regular check-ups to brain surgery or cancer treatments or physio... anything for anyone, a good feeling to protect my family. My wife and I enjoyed a shared 1-year and paid parental leave when our kids were borned, in our gunless house that we can afford, with gunless neighbors. Our police officers are good with the good and "bad" with the bad. Our banks help us with our financial realities, and our government lends us 30% of our salary on the amount we put aside for our retirement savings to encourage us to do so, as we make interest on that 30% before we give it back upon turning age 70. For example, for every $10,000 I put in, I get $3000 and it accumulates fast! What you see in Canada are things we can afford and this creates less stress, less crime, less borrowing. The drive force is more about what we can do rather than greed. Values like fun, respect, compassion, admiration and appreciation are at the core and expected/enforced at the workplace. Nasty attack ads on politicians only show the source of the attacker: We rather like to see someone who has and demonstrates the values described, as a leader. I shake my head when I see gun classes given to toddlers in the US... My goodness, what are you doing! The same with the billions on war arsenals. You can't throw money like that. Yes, the US can make it thru but the clock is ticking with no definite signs on the horizon and we are watching anxiously. Pardon my vision but with the cumulative bad news on crime and debt in the US and getting worst by the minute, I hope this doesn't spread up north and this worries me. I used to enjoy traveling in the US but now I try to avoid it, especially after my unbeleivably nice 73 year old mother in law was stopped and interrogated harshly for hours by airport guards in a room and missing her flight, no apologies after finding she was innocent and then there, on her own, go. Geesh. – Indeed, many immigrants here (we accept some 250,000 per year) are screened in and have higher points for education, which helps keeping crime down. My recommendation: regulate your banks so people can only have a home/cars/loan they can afford; ban guns except for hunting (but with a background check), I know this sounds difficult but it works; have a friendlier government who will make these things happen but don't bash them for it; provide free health care to everyone (it's amazing how people don't flock to hospitals when it's free!) Your school system is at the core, producing your future: stop talking about change and bring in awesome teachers and get rid of the slackers. Also, change your measuring system to metrics (it's funny now a days to talk about a foot as a distance measure instead of, say, 1 kilometer = 1000 meters). These are just some observations from the outside and I care because I want the US to remain/be the best it can be, always! Thanks for Disney Land, space exploration, your soldiers for peace, the new high tech stuff, planes, trains, automobiles, the internet, and so, so much more... (Hey, give us our Stanley Cup back!) Cheers guys/ladies!

    August 31, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  158. New Englander


    Not according to my family and friends in London Ontario and Qubec.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  159. Jim

    Trying to convince me of the world's most "livable" city by featuring a photo of a city's obnoxious and excessive lighting practices is not going to sell me by a long shot. I want to live in a place that has respect for the natural world, and nighttime darkness is a key component to that. Many more trees and green spaces go a long way too.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  160. JHarm

    Zar, You did get one thing right. I can be quite sarcastic. There is nothing defensive about my comments, however. My point was what is "most liveable" is an indiviidual choice. You pontificate like you're auditioning to replace Elliot Spitzer on CNN.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  161. Skye

    I'm stuck here for now in the middle of grad school. Perhaps Canada, Australia or New Zealand might want me once armed with a shiny new PhD?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  162. Irina

    I come from Helsinki (Finland). I have to say that it is very nice to live here. Reasonably good public health care, excellent public transportation, excellent education, well kept parks and clean environment. Even if you cannot afford to pay big rent, you still can afford ok apartment within 15-20 min (subway, bus, tram) from the city centre. The quality of housing in general is good. Helsinki is also located by the sea.
    You can walk in every part of Helsinki without having to be afraid of anything, also in the night time.
    But there is this one negative thing – The weather between september-april is mostly terrible! – raining, windy, or freezing cold...

    August 31, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  163. ofCanada

    J.M. Ging, that's a lot of rationalized illogic. Canada has insurance companies (Including Blue Cross, which I have), we have doctors nurses etc. They are not government employees. They are not poor—are, in fact, wealthy. Back when we were bringing in universal care the exact same arguments were made (almost to the letter) and it simply did not come to pass.

    Nobody said cut all government spending except for the rich folk leading the push from the right and the naive masses who believe them. Nobody said health care can come in without taxes. I remember when Bush was making the argument for the Iraq war. Congress talked about the expense and he made speeches about where the money could come from. Your current situation with government spending is in part where the money came from. You need to get back from that spot. Screw up your courage, pay taxes for the things that help your community and stop letting the rich get away with a free ride.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  164. tom

    as a Vancouverite and a Canadian.. We have the BEST city in the world.. come visit and see for yourself.. :)

    August 31, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  165. eamon

    "How about Paris,Texas" How about Wim Wenders?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  166. Chengchao

    i am very suprise Chengdu not in this list. that is relax city and you ca enjoy nice girl and nice good.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  167. V. P.

    Truth, the statement that you made is ridiculous. By the way do you that to be fact?

    August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  168. Paul

    Clearly Rex has NEVER been to Canada. Otherwise he would have never made to statement about "somewhat shielded from unwanted immigration"

    August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  169. Yasir

    Karachi is a sprawling metropolitan. It can fit many other cities. There are slums and areas that have violence but those are so geographically far removed that they can be another city all together.

    The nice parts of Karachi are actually very liveable and safe.

    August 31, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  170. InSirGent

    I am glad my hometown Tehran is listed as the 2nd worst.
    Hopefully this will keep all the filthy Americans and Europeans away from it and keep it clean for the natives.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  171. javan

    Personally, I am leaning towards Canada (Quebec to be exact), for many of the reason posted already (better paid benefits, paid healthcare, paid University for the kids, greener mindset). Who cares if the roads are not as nice as here in the US. The nice road will not take care of me in the hospital, nor will it put my child through school.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  172. Carly

    Melbourne also has the world's best coffee. Coincidence?

    August 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  173. cnnpeacecnn

    What ? No American City?

    August 31, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  174. jdean

    Australian cities high rankings are clearly the result of Rupert Murdoch leaving the country 35 yars ago. Not enough morons for his publications there so he relocated to US and has spewed his nonsense to the ignorant with predictable low standards and social results.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  175. Kelvin

    I am a Canadian who has been living the the states for the past 8 years, and in that time I have grown to love and respect this country, and the US is most definitely the most powerful, caring, and simply put the best Hegemon that the world has ever seen, but with that said it most definitely does not have the best cities or standard of living. Canada has a wonderful social safety net that ensures that almost every person is taken care of, and as people our number 1 concern should be the welfare of ALL humans within your own state, the US doesn't do a great job of this. Also taxes are much higher in these top ten cities than most in the US, but i noticed that someone was talking about how the US corporate tax is so high, while it is true that the states has a very high corporate tax rate, US corporations actually pay some of the lowest taxes as a result of the retarded amount of tax loopholes and tax breaks the US gives out, GE paying not taxes last year is a great example of this. The US needs to lower its corporate tax and scrap most of the loopholes and subsidies that it provides to massive corporations. I also saw that people were talking about immigration, Canada has a sh1t ton of immigrants, it is like the place immigrants go if they cant get into the states. If you ever get the chance to go to Vancouver, probably the most beautiful I have ever been to, there is a massive China town, Chinese is the third most widely spoken language in Canada (English and French being the official languages). Finally Canada simply has better and more regulations, especially of the banks thats why none of the Canadian banks failed in the Financial Crisis, and why we are seeing more and more Canadian banks in the states (RBC Centura, TD Ameritrade, ect.). No I won't argue that more regulation is always better, but it definitely can be for certain things, but it is also about having better and more efficient regulations. If any of you get the chance you should go to Vancouver, Ocean on one side, massive mountains on the other it is the most scenic city, absolutely breath taking. And the people in Canada are generally really nice, expect when it comes to hockey, and some Canadians are assholes like anywhere else. (they don't like Canadians who move to the States)

    August 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  176. Huge Mustache

    I vote for Sacramento, California!. The Paris of the United States!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  177. Doug Tovey

    If the USA is such a terrible place to live why are people still immigrating here! I enjoy visiting other countries and their fine cities all around the world but when you truly compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges I'm not leaving the USA any time soon. For example I enjoy living in a single family dwelling, owning a car, and watching the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  178. lolface

    With pollution, congestion and lack of jobs cities are not very livable anywhere.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  179. ofCanada

    "(they don't like Canadians who move to the States)"
    It's okay, Kevin. The U.S. has some great things going for it. I see the attraction. Who we dislike are Canadians who go to the U.S. to live but keep returning just in time/just long enough to get in on health care. Yeah, I'm looking at you Uncle Leo!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  180. Jack

    For the first couple of decades after WW II the US had no competition. Europe was in ruins as was Japan. America was a booming economy and stood alone. Europe has long since recovered as has Japan and now Europe is surpassing the US in it's lifestyle and livability. Americans, in their myopia, are still thinking in a post-WW II mindset. I've lived in Europe for a while and am amazed at how arrogantly backward we are in the US. We are still heavily reliant on the automobile, lack universal healthcare, still think of ourselves as the only place on earth to live. Spend some time in a city like Vienna. Sit in a sidwalk cafe, attend a world class concert, walk it's lush parks and take safe, luxuriant public transportation home. You want a break from the city? No car needed. Take a high tech train or bus to a small mountain village for the weekend. That's living my friends.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  181. Sathyavrath

    What about Bombay,Calcutta and Bangalore. I am an Indian and lived and worked in several countries, US, Canada and Australia. If there was a god and god wanted to give the world an enema, he would choose either Bombay or Calcutta. The majority of Indians have no sense of hygene or civic sense.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  182. Ralphy

    Ya'll just stay the hell out of Snyder, Texas. It's fine just like it is. We don't need anymore utopians and godless heathens there since we kicked the Commanches out.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  183. Thomas

    I was almost personally violated in a "pat down" search at Toronto's airport. The person was very rude and called a supervisor who gave me the standard procedure policy bull; then I got another short hothead who thinks he's above the law to tell me his bull_hit. I think the people in Toronto suck. Rude, aggressive, short-temper.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  184. Tom

    Sean is exhibiting the very attitude that is dragging the USA down, ever deeper into the pit. Classic xenophobia, an unwillingness to even consider that the USA isn't perfect in all respects. I've got news for you, Sean, the United States of America no longer has the most advanced ANYTHING. This former beacon of freedom and opportunity has been slipping down the slippery slope toward ignominy for decades. Your healthcare system is fine if you are rich or if your employer offers quality "Cadillac" health insurance, but it hasn't yet dealt with providing health care as a right, not as a privilege. The last great industrial nation that is denying its own citizens the right to adequate healthcare. Shame on the USA.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  185. zaglossus

    Boy, it helps to be white and have English as your mother tongue apparently.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  186. ofCanada

    Doug, Doug, Doug. Not being #1 isn't the equivalent of being "terrible" regardless of your own ideas. It only means you have to roll up your sleeves and address your issues.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  187. LP

    The #3 city had riots this year? They need to check their methodology...

    August 31, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  188. Polecat1

    Common denominator=racial compostion

    August 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  189. Canadian Hunk

    I live in Toronto-there is nothing really multi cultural about it-its full of hordes of MAINLY indians AND Chinese,and then you call that multi cultural.Multicultural is when you have a large base of people from different cultures in one area.The Indians and Chinese have formed their own little cities within Toronto and they have formed these enclaves whereby its hard to prosper if you are not in that category.Take jobs for instance,controlled by whites,Indians and Chinese favoring their own and only own.As someone has mentioned earlier,large cities in Canada are very good at importing people from Asia,and then these people form their own groups and dont want to mix with others.Walk in Vancouver or Toronto and you will see chinese signs,names on even major banks,you would think you are in China.The best cities to live are not on that list,this list is sponsored by people with special interests and its a disservice not to mentions facts on the ground

    August 31, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  190. Dan

    Any of you who say Vancouver is boring, clearly hasn't been to Vancouver's Gay Parade. Seriously fun as hell even for a straight guy. Vancouver is a serious business oriented place, but, as the old adage goes. They work hard and they play hard.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  191. Facepalm

    LP: So did the number 4 city over the G8., Melbourne was a sight of a Race war a decade ago, while we're at, riots have occurred in nearly every major US city at one point in their history.. Riots happen. Get over it.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  192. Richard

    Melbourne is NOT a South Australian city, it is a VICTORIAN city, in the state of Victoria. Be careful when calling Melbourne a South Australia city. They dont drink VB in South Australia, hahahahaha

    August 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  193. Jack

    Doug tovey–Yeah, I understand your strong connection with the country you grew in. I grew up in the US also and love certain things about it. But the lifestyle you talk about (e.g. a car, a house with a large yard, etc) comes with a price. You give up some things. You give up free healthcare, less stress, less culture, less open space nearby. You pay more to drive long distances to go shopping, eat in restaurants. You walk less and thus get less exercise (unless you pay to join a gym). It's a comfortable lifestyle to you because this is all you've probably done. I advise you to try living in Europe or Australia for a bit. You might see it's a pretty darn good way to live. And, as for immigrants, they're not just coming to the US. They are in Australia and Europe. If you've traveled to these places you'd see a large immigrant community. Immigrants, generally, come from extremely poor areas and will go anywhere that is even just a little bit better. Anywhere. Notice you don't see many European waves of immigrants (or Australians) coming to the US. Not in the past several decades. They did, just after WW II but not anymore. They live better there. Why would they want to emigrate?

    August 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  194. AmericanAbroad

    "I live in Melbourne. Its a beautiful city like any other international city. It has people from all over like any other city. But what is interesting is that it was blemished by racist attacks against Asians and still these people rank it as No.1 livable city. Truly mind-boggling ranking."

    My brother in law is going to school in Melbourne. He was attacked by a drunken redneck who sucker punched him in the head with a bottle while he was walking down the street, to show off in front of his equally trashy girlfriend. The attack was racially motivated. He was throwing out anti-chinese slurs while beating on him. Fortunately, my brother in law carries a knife on him. As soon as he pulled it out, the attacker dropped the tough guy act and tried to talk his way out of the situation. My brother in law let him go. I would have left him in ICU.

    At any rate, I realize that you cant paint a city with a broad brush, but there is a problem there and the people saying that there aren't any hate crimes occurring within their city are in denial.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  195. Ralphy

    We don't have in any crime in Snyder, Texas except for the occasional wife beating. And they usually deserve it. Trust me, you are completely safe in Snyder.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  196. Skye

    Nobody wants to move to Snyder, Texas. Nobody.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  197. jinsay

    Vancouver was knocked off the top spot because of a highway on Vancouver Island that had major road work/construction and long waits. This has since been completed. Vancouver Island is across the Georgia Straits, about 2 hours by ferry and quite a long drive to get to this Malahat Highway. Geographically the island has nothing to do with the city of Vancouver. The folk who wrote the article for the magazine should research the facts and whereabouts before they make their decision. I live in metro Vancouver, yes it is expensive to buy a house, yes we did have a riot this last June. Sadly this was all orchestrated by a small minority of thugs whose main plan was to disrupt the fabulous festivities that the people of metro Vancouver had been enjoying. Sadly this will cause a blemish on our wonderful city which has so much to offer everyone. This too shall pass. Vancouver was seen around the world during our 2010 Winter Olympics and most people saw and enjoyed what we have here. Where else can you ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon, we are a melting pot of every colour, creed, race and religion. To be considered one of the most livable cities in the world is an honour. It doesn't matter to me if Vancouver was number 1, 3, or 20 I love Vancouver.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  198. SMAn

    Compare Vienna to Schenectady, NY? What a travesty. The Electric City should be #1!

    August 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  199. Clint Lavallee

    Folks. This is really a no brainer. I live in Canada but have visited or worked in many places around the world. Without a doubt, Canada, in my humble opinion, is the best place to live. Beyond free healthcare, more than reasonable education costs, incredibly low crime rate and responsible government, what makes Canada so great is its people. Granted, we are all not saints. However, the overwhelming majority of us care about our neighbors, embrace cultural diversification and live within our means. Is it a utopia? No. But I cannot think of any country closer to it than Canada.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  200. Facepalm

    AmericanAbroad: I think the term you want is not Redneck, but rather a Bogan.

    Bogan: A fascinating beast. The majority of the species are hideously repugnant and unintelligent, and yet they manage to breed in ever-increasing numbers and populate an area known as the outer west. It is quite common to find five or six offspring in each family group, often with a different father for each new baby.

    Their habitat consists of a weatherboard or brick-veneer dwelling and is characterised by an early-model Holden or Ford in the driveway surrounded by a group of males discussing why the carby is stuffed and the results of last night's footy (a primitive gladiator-like spectator sport enjoyed by most bogans).

    The female of the species, while smaller in stature, is far more loud and aggressive than the male. While the males tend to be very friendly and congregate with other males, the females spend most of their time in supermarkets and shopping malls, using a shrill high-pitched call to discipline their children and contact other females.

    Males and females rarely interact socially except during breeding season, which is otherwise known as Friday night. During this time, females are allowed to enter the male-dominated area known as "the pub" and display their impressive coloured plumage to a prospective mate.
    Herein lies an intersting phenomenon. Males will often fight over a particularly attractive female and she will mate with only one male, while some less attractive females have been known to have several partners simultaneously.

    Source: Urban Dictionary

    August 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  201. Ralphy

    None of them trashy thugish AK-47s either, in Snyder. Stone River AR-15s mostly. An armed society is a polite society in Snyder.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  202. Jesus Cristo

    No wonder why countries with social governments are better than the USA.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  203. Christine

    I live in Tucson, Arizona, and it's the best place to live in the US. Not only do we have the cheapest gas in the Nation, but housing is very affordable. There are NO metro sexual men here because all the guys are either cowboys, in the air force, weekend bikers, golfers, teachers, university students, medical professional, or in their 80s. Also, you never feel old here since we have so many healthy retirees running around doing whatever they want. And, there is no one you need to impress with an extremely expensive car. I've also been to a few of those places listed as most livable, and the some of the places in Australia are also considered some of the most expensive cities to live in. As, for New Zealand, it's OK if you want to be living on a small rock floating in the middle of the ocean, with a Socialist government. I've also been to Vienna, and it is the most depressing city, all of the locals walk around with long faces and the whole atmosphere makes one want to kill themselves.

    August 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  204. Ignacio

    Calgary ahead of Paris? Helsinski ahead of Rome or Florence? Perth ahead of Amsterdam? Adelaide ahead of Washington or San Francisco? and then they say they care about "culture and education" ! Come on! Why do not they say "what are the best cities in Canada and Australia to live in ???

    August 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  205. Ralphy

    Clint Lavallee, healthcare in Canada is not free. Trust me on that. Somebody is picking up the tab, if you are not.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  206. Lanfear


    The folks who wrote the article did do their research and know exactly where the malahat is. They know exactly what they are saying and made no mistake. The malahat remains a dangerous drive and accidents occur almost every day. I know this because I live in Victoria, less than an hour away from the malahat and I've done the deadly drive at night time. There's no lights... if it's raining it's nearly impossible to see. People drive way too fast for the conditions. Remember the oil spill into Goldstream river a few months ago, the highway was closed for about 18 hours. People couldn't get home/to work etc. Any Vancouver residents were stranded on the island. You can't say a city is livable when commuting to the island for business/pleasure is dangerous and/or a pain in the ass. Anytime there is an accident, the malahat gets backed up for hours on end, people miss their ferries and get stranded on the island.

    Just accept that Vancouver has been moved down the list. It's still beautiful and I love it. Althought I love living on the island better.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  207. Dave

    4 of the top 5, and 7 of the top 10, are from either Canada or Australia. I guess a strong public health plan does work.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  208. Dwayne

    @Zar .... you're on a roll. If you were my neighbor, I'd buy you a few beers. You've put into words what I've been fuming about here in the States for too long. I'm considering moving my family elsewhere because I know the ignorance = fear = power crowd are going to ruin this country.

    Thanks for posting.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  209. cc

    top cities are cold and totally boring...this article is racist. all the top cities are majority anglo saxon nations. all the bottom cities are majority african. nobody wants to live in stupid, cold finland. why isn't montevideo or other south american or south asian cities mentioned in this. racism...yuck

    August 31, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  210. Lanfear


    you think vancouver is cold? What planet are you from? hahahaha!

    August 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  211. LIlly

    Tim your figure that Toronto's population is 65% 1st generation seems unusually high. I think you really need to back this up with your source.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  212. robert saint amour

    the idiot that wrote this piece for the british economist never came to canada, he states that vancouver lost points because of traffic congestion on the malahat drive, which is not in vancouver but on vancouver island, an ocean and ferry away..

    as for our immigration policies, canada is not a melting pot of cultures like the usa, we celebrate diversity here and generally our rednecks are more polite and way healthier...

    August 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  213. Daniel

    I'm from Vancouver, and I do love Canada. Yeah it may have a "high standard of living" but I honestly was bored to tears in that city. There are many flaws in the cultural environment, and few people have much disposable income. They call it the "no fun city" for a reason. Waaaay too expensive. Too cold, too boring, too expensive. If those don't knock it off the top of the list, I don't know what should.

    Just sayin.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  214. Ryno

    While Canada is good and all, I couldn't handle their winters...however Australian weather sounds pretty nice...

    August 31, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  215. Canadian Hunk

    Vancouver and Toronto have been invaded by HORDES OF Indians and Chinese-you would think you are in Asia.I PREFER New York ,Seattle,Helsinki,Sydney,Edinburgh, Mombasa,Amsterdam,Vienna

    August 31, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  216. new york hater

    How come new york was not added the bottom of the list right next pakistan, iran, iraq.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  217. Asad Malik

    I live in Helsinki and have visited many large European cities such as Stockholm, Berlin, London, Paris. I have to agree Vienna (and overall Austria) is the most beautiful European city.
    But I am surprised there is no Kabul, Baghdad, Rio de Jeniro in the bottom list.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  218. Bri

    Does anyone know where the photo accompanying the article was taken?

    August 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  219. sam

    TALKING OF BIAS..I am studying in London and i have visited the majority of those Livable Cities!! Tehran my town ranked second which is so ridiculous that made me to write a comment. Tehran is home to nearly 12 million people and is by far the cleanest metropolis i have ever visited. All my European and American friends who visited Tehran share the same idea. We enjoy the modern metro system as well as 700 km of urban motorway all around Tehran. 48000 people clean the city 24/7 and while in Kensington in London they take our rubbish twice a week in Tehran they do it twice a day... I don't know if the writer ever visited Tehran but he did and he ranked my town with its heavinly made food, state of art transport system and fantastic infrastructure the second worst city is an idiot.. SIMPLE

    August 31, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  220. me

    Those cities at the top of the list will soon be at the bottom if they don't stop Muslims from immigrating there.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  221. Doctor Strangelove

    I live in Canada. I do like to visit the US, but I don't want to live there.

    I like to visit Vancouver, but I don't want to live there. I don't like to visit Toronto or Calgary, nor do I want to live there. Because I have.

    Quality of life is subjective. I find my quality of life is much greater in the smaller centers. All the benefits of living in Canada as listed above, minus pollution, noise, road rage, gang activity, unaffordable housing, wealth disparity, and so on.

    I find it's a worthwhile trade-off for a few art galleries or major concerts that can be done in a day-trip anyway. But that's just me. To each their own. Life is where you make it.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  222. Billy

    Bummer! I was going to move from Perth to Tehran next weekend! Maybe I need to rethink this.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  223. M Hughes

    I grew up in Vancouver and the surrounding suburban areas. Yeah, it's a nice place to visit, but I'm glad I don't live there any longer. The pretty scenery hides an ugly underbelly. Housing costs are astronomical, whether you are buying or renting. Taxes are high, and the provincial government is idiotic. Violent crime may not be excessive, but anyone who lives in the area knows just how high property crime is. There is growing gang violence and racism is alive and well, especially between different ethnic communities.

    I don't know Melbourne personally, but I do have investor clients from there that complain of largely the same thing and are looking for investments and opportunities outside Australia. So, yeah, these are all great cities if you have lots of money, and can afford to live in style. But you can say that about London, Paris, New York, etc.

    Personally I find these types of polls and articles divisive. Governments and people from the top of the list generally sniff their own farts and believe the press – govt's use it to ignore/hide all the things they AREN'T doing for the people, and the gen pop use it to tell everyone why they are superior, again glossing over all the crap that goes on in their back yards. Depending on where you are in Vancouver, that may include homeless people, used needles, condoms, etc. But I guess all of those things don't present enough of a "challenge to residents' lifestyles" to matter.

    August 31, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  224. Eddy

    While i do not deny as a Candian living overseas that Canada do have affordable healthcare i have my reservation when it comes to get access to that so called free service. i do live in Douala (third worst on the list) and i have to admit that seing a specialist (doctor) in Douala takes 3 hours max while it can take up to a year in Canada. Also that so called free health care isn't free, anyone with a revenue higher than $60K/ year pays roughtly 50% tax on income ( that is beside all the other taxes ie city tax, VAT, etc...)

    August 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  225. Julian

    I live in Helsinki and it's a nice but small city. There is basically no violent crime at all here, and even women can walk through a dark park at night (well, they don't do it but they can). However, it would be nice too see more international people here, as it is now you bascially meet mostly Russians and Spanish people, there are not many people from the anglo-saxon world here.

    Someone told me that the trams in Melbourne look exactly the same.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  226. camonwheels

    What about the regular forest fires and floods that hit these Australian cities ? Dont these natural disasters count in all the considerations. I mean the bush or forest fires burned for weeks.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  227. Zar

    At Dwayne, thanks for the beers. At JHarm, I'm glad to see that as an American you're not so ignorant that you can use a word like pontificate. People who care to make a difference and get a rational set of points across to a set of ignoramuses usually have to pontificate. Either that, or it's a hard knock on the head. Seems like you need the hard knock to see the light. Keep up with the sarcasm my friend. We'll see where it gets you in a few years. I feel truly sad to see a bunch of people like you ruin a great country.

    August 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  228. Zar

    At CanadianHunk. Those HORDES of Indians and Chinese form one of the largest tax payer blocks in Canada today. Without them, we'd be a lot poorer. Aside from providing cheaper labour, especially in the construction sector (ok, their quality of work sucks big time), they contribute billions in tax revenue to Canada. Additionally, many of them are also highly educated and provide much needed services in Canada. Finally, a lot of them are not poor to begin with and bring in a lot of money to Canada. This is particularly true of the Chinese. So quit complaining and be grateful for the benefits they bring.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  229. Big G

    can someone tell me who or what organization conducted this report? i'm looking for the full list

    August 31, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  230. Jonny Rudge

    Condemned to continuously remind people: you talk about "free" leave, "free" daycare, "free" etc. There is no such thing. What you all call "free" is in fact not free but paid by the government. But since the government in a non-totalitarian society doesn't own any means of production (or, at least, shouldn't) whatever it pays comes from your fellow citizens. What you call "free" is actually paid for, in major part, by the people who don't use it. So when you say something is "free" you actually mean that your friends and neighbors, but also people you don't even know, pay for your use of it. Now how does it feel to get something for "free"? Are you egotistical enough to still enjoy it, knowing that the next person you meet on the street paid for it? And are you altruistic enough to pay for something that you'll never use, knowing that it has been proved again and again that the government is the most inefficient and wasteful way (by far) to "market" or distribute goods or services?
    P.S. All you leftists/socialists/populists please spare me the "heartless" "brutish" "fascist" namecalling: I've heard it all before.

    August 31, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  231. Bethany

    "And are you altruistic enough to pay for something that you'll never use..."

    Why, yes I am.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  232. Bethany

    When you speak of national healthcare, I assume I'd visit a doctor once or twice a year unless I became truly ill. I've no problem paying my fair share to make sure your grandmother gets her chemotherapy treatments.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  233. surealizt

    I like how many on here say that if the US didn't spend money on military then it'd be good place to live.
    How would Australia be if the US didn't rescue them during the Pacific Campaigns in WWII?
    Sure it's a great place to live. Ask the native Australian Aborigines how they like to live on their continent.
    NYC, I guess, hasn't done enough for this planet in terms of art, music, dance, culture, immigration, science and studies.
    No. NYC has done nothing. (sarcasm)

    August 31, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  234. ofCanada

    surealizt, the question isn't whether the military is worthwhile. It's whether such large sums of money should be spent on wars that are NOT needed. Your debt right now does not go back to WWII.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  235. ofCanada

    Johnny Rudge, pay attention: Universal Health Care, tax paid, user free. Not that many idiots out there who don't get that money has to be spent from somewhere, so do rest your fingers.
    The point is that taxes, spent wisely (and that requires vigilance) can make an entire society better off. Yes, it means that taxes I pay in go to pay for services being rendered to people beyond myself, but if I'm feeling greedy any particular day of the week I can rest assured that I am not specifically paying for the doctor to care for my neighbour's granny. I'm paying to keep him/her employed in between my visits so he/she will be there when I need him/her. Get that? Infrastructure does not materialize upon need, but it's darn good to have in place.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  236. ofCanada

    "Also that so called free health care isn't free, anyone with a revenue higher than $60K/ year pays roughtly 50% tax on income ( that is beside all the other taxes ie city tax, VAT, etc...)"

    Laughably and easily provably incorrect, Eddy. My household income is well over $60K and I don't pay anywhere near that. It's like +/-20% BEFORE tax breaks get calc'd in. And you think its 50% just for medical? Nuts. Plain nuts. need to see yourself another specialist.

    BTW, I've never waited a year, ever—and what wait there is removed when its serious, anyway. I know that for a fact.

    August 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  237. give an inch

    @Another metric?
    man, it's the grass... it's always greener

    August 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  238. jeff from Toronto

    Toronto use to be a premier city; but not anymore; it's expensive, bland, boring , crowded and getting gritier and dirtier by the day, if thats the case I would rather then be in NYC any day!

    August 31, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  239. JHarm

    I can also use words like judemental and condescending which fit you like skin. I think you're more like Jack Cafferty than Eliot Spitzer. Come on. LIghten up. Change out of your pajamas, get out of your parents' basement and get out and try to learn a little about the world.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  240. JHarm

    Oh and Zar. While you're at it. Go look up and try to understand what sarcasm means.

    August 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  241. David

    something tells me he was being sarcastic

    August 31, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  242. Aaron

    I live in Vancouver and I meet people from all over the place in my line of work. People who have moved here love it so much. And then I talk to lots of people FROM Vancouver who want to leave to go to the US, Toronto, Montreal, Australia... wherever. So, the grass IS always greener. Believe me when I say that for all its flaws, Canada is a truly great place to live and raise a family. Very safe with lots of opportunities for your children.

    August 31, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  243. Chris

    There was nothing better than emigrating from the USA. I don't know how people can live in that dump. Woohoo Vienna!

    August 31, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  244. Zape

    The US may had saved the whole world if you want, but the fact that the quality of living in the US has been going down for the last 30 years compared to other countries is there. I've lived and visited other countries and I remembered I used to say that the US was the best place to live, but now that has changed.

    If you want to live in this country with access to good quality basic services you need to be almost upper middle class in some areas of the country, below that social status is very hard to have a decent life or at least the type of life my parents had when I was a child.

    August 31, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  245. James from Canada

    As a Canadian who has lived and worked in the USA as well, I can honestly say there is no comparison. There is a sense of "wrongness" with large American cities. It's not something definable, more of a vague uneasiness that permeates every aspect of life there, like how some people claim to be able to "smell" cancer. That being said, I now live and work in Mainland China (Shanghai), and I can say with absolute certain that ANY city in the US is better than here.

    September 1, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  246. Anonymous

    All these people talking about Austin, seriously folks, have you even been out to a state out of TX, let alone out of the country in your life?

    September 1, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  247. Joke list

    Toronto and Calgary are dumps Who wants to live in 30 below what a joke this list
    All it ever does is rain in Vancouver. Man who makes this crap up.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  248. john johnson

    @Rex Remmes: If you knew anything about history or human geography, you would know that austria and finland are dealing with a massive influx of immigrants from Arab nations and North Africa. Australia is amongst the most racist societies in the world, where aboriginies are treated as third-class citizens BELOW immigrants. Canada... well you're probably right on Canada, although I'm going to become an immigrant to Canada if Rick Perry becomes president

    September 1, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  249. Bryan

    as an American living in Melbourne now, I'd have to concur. There isn't much wrong here, and everything works just fine. I walk to work every day, pay 20% of my salary in rent (a shared house, but I only work part-time and it's in one of the better neighborhoods in the city). Besides a bit of public drunkenness, there's no crime that affects a law-abiding citizen – in fact, one of the few annoying things here is simply that police are super-vigilant for trite 'quality of life' issues (you can actually get fined for jaywalking – imagine that!).
    Yup, it's all pretty good here. But then again, we didn't lose the Stanely Cup this year... :-)

    September 1, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  250. Colmery

    What makes Australia and Canada likely to have livable cities? Clearly space, an educated, taxed and civil society, a well organised economy and a willingness to slip the Economist survey team a quid or two over a nice cold beer.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  251. JAY KATAB

    GUILIN, CHINA: The city of GUILIN deserves to be among the best in the world. Its culture, social life, safety and serenity, its climate and rivers, its food and beauty plus the friendliest population kin the Asia. Do not miss on this jewel city.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  252. JAY KATAB

    GUILIN, CHINA: This city deserves to be among the best in the world. Its culture, social life, safety and serenity, its climate and rivers, its food and beauty plus the friendliest population kin the Asia.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  253. Adam

    Ok what city is that in the picture and what planet is it on? The picture was obviously taken from some city skyline from a world orbiting a red giant. Thats not earth. What gives???

    September 1, 2011 at 2:30 am |
  254. Jonny Rudge

    Simply incredible that so many (e.g., ofCanada) have come to believe that it's either paid by taxes or does not exist. We have wiped the concept of a free market from our minds and that's really sad as well as harmful. I remind you that we had a medical industry for centuries before Obamacare. Maybe a live example will make things clearer: Most people who seek a university education outside of their own country seek it in the US (although clearly many do not succeed in obtaining it). Why? What is the difference between higher education in the US than everywhere else? Most US universities are private institutions and those which are not have to compete with these private institutions. Almost all universities elsewhere are governmental institutions, staffed by government employees laughably called "professors". Incredibly, in some countries it is absolutely illegal (yes, illegal) for any one or any group to try to establish any university or institution of higher learning. Why? Because the government knows that no matter how closely it "regulates" such private institutions, market forces will either wipe out the government "universities" or will force them to improve a lot, if they are to compete. Government involvement always harms an enterprise/institution/endeavor – always – and is always inefficient and corrupt in comparison to a private one. In some things we need government to be involved, despite such harm and inefficiency, such as in case of military, police, etc. In most other cases, no.
    BTW, JHarm, your jumping to conclusions without facts or evidence is typical of socialist/populist thought. I think you are the one who may be in your parents' basement, although I admit I don't know. But for you to attack me personally is clearly thoughtless, mean, as well as wrong: I have several degrees, including one in economics, as well as a doctorate, and am a life member of an international honor society for economics. But, of course, facts are not relevant to your point of view, are they? As the old saying goes, "don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up." Your mind is made up and you refuse to see another view point so you resort to personal attacks which, as it turns out, are ludicrously incorrect.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  255. Alexander

    MIssed PYONGYANG as one of the worst cities - that is, if you're not a state official, military, or little hobbit dear leader himself, which means for the rest of the 99% of the starving and left-to-die population.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  256. Greg Knudsen

    Okay, I agree. Honolulu couldn't possibly be in the top 10. What a wretched place to live. Great weather, spectacular vistas, inviting beaches, stimulating culture. Who needs that? If you were planning to move here, best change your plans. Leave the poor residents to suffer on their own.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  257. ofCanada

    "As the old saying goes, 'don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up.' Your mind is made up and you refuse to see another view point…"

    Hello pot, lay off kettle for a moment and help me ponder your post.

    You've changed your argument and then insinuated that so many (e.g., me) are missing something. I was specifically addressing what you said, which was about "free" systems not being free because they are taxed.

    If we were to stay within that debate, you might counter with your opinion on the viability of taxation funding in a bad economy with a high aging population, or the societal benefits outweighing the economic penalties, or the pitfalls of bureaucracies maintaining infrastructure past election agendas.

    I might have offered opinion on the value of life in general and in quality of life for both the healthy taxpayer and the infirm who depend on care. I might have even waxed a little optimistic about governance of basic care over the long haul and the oft repeated need for vigilance.

    Instead, you changed the argument, started off in a new direction on the free market and a narrow interpretation of education around the world and declared that, among others, I "have come to believe that it's either paid by taxes or does not exist." Something you either believe—although for the life of me, I can't figure out how—or hope to make others believe.

    It's odd. And it's the reaction of somebody who doesn't want to examine the issue, risk hearing something that might make them reconsider their stand. I'm fine with that. But I'm not fond of hypocrisy.

    September 1, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  258. Donah

    I do not agree with those findings having lived in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for the last 31 years... but as always there are "experts" for any kind of money... if you read me correctly...
    From the GripeVine & Donah.. (the only Navajo on this Island....)

    September 1, 2011 at 3:45 am |
  259. Adonis

    I dont know how you found out? Tehran is a mega city, with beautiful museums, scenery, restaurants,.... And also I dont know why all western nations want to show bad views of Iranians to other people. You have problem with Iran government, not with Persian people. Please let us know why you are going to convince the world there is no safe, new cars, new buildings, good highways, optimum subway, healthy restaurants, and so on....

    September 1, 2011 at 4:42 am |
  260. Mark

    The pic is of Federation Square in Melbourne

    September 1, 2011 at 4:59 am |
  261. Mark

    The Indigenous population of Australia are about as happy about the state of their continent as the Lenape are about the state of their island (Manhattan)

    September 1, 2011 at 5:15 am |
  262. Proud 1st Generation OZI

    I live in and love Melbourne, my immigrant parents- uneducated working class people have made a good life here for themselves and their family. I have never read so many statements made as facts which have no basis in reality. I think there is lot to be learn't about Australia. Australia is highly multicultuaral and its immigration includes substancial refugee intakes. Our social services and welfare safety net provided to all citizens particularly those most vulnerable are second to none and go well beyond health care. Australia is not a perfect country but some of these comments and particularly the one in relation to Australia reliance on US military leave me speechless at the level of ignorance – and you say Australians are arrogant and opinionated! I guess it is sometimes easier to pick fault than accept your own shortcomings.

    September 1, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  263. Bouelge

    Concerning the worst ones; the cities in Somalia, where are they? And in RDC? And so on...

    I have the impression that the city listed have at least some data gathered. So, if statistics works, it can't be that bad... ;-)

    September 1, 2011 at 7:49 am |
  264. Lachlan

    @john johnson – You sir are a joke. No matter how much you study history or human geography, don't comment on a place you have never been too. I love how it is always outsiders that comment on what Australia does wrong. I still remember how America reacted to Harry Connick Jr incident on our "Hey, Hey It's Saturday". It's fine if you guys think it is "racist" and "disrespectful" but majority of Australian's didn't. I have lived in Melbourne, Australia my whole life and have never once seen a true act of "racism". If you don't understand our culture, then don't comment on it.

    How can a state be Judged the Most Liveable city in the World, as well as the Sporting Capital of the world if it does what you say it does. Not to mention, our education and health systems are one of the best in the world.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  265. MyTown

    Helsinki rocks! The best quality of life, best education, clean, modern, spacious. Sea, nature – endless possibilities to enjoy the citylife – be it summer or winter. Short connection to Estonia, Sweden, Russia.

    September 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  266. CanuckFromToronto

    I think the post about it's not called Christmas in Canada anymore becuase it seen as ignorant (apparently). Born and raised in Toronto I believe acceptance has changed over this recently. Because all cultures do not celebrate Christmas in Canada [or anywhere]. Which is why it is apparently called a Holiday Tree now and not a Christmas Tree.

    I do however agree and disagree with many of the posters. I live on the outskirts of Toronto within the GTA... I find that I rarely travel to Toronto and always try to avoid it. I find the multiculturalism within Toronto to be segregating people into groups of their (own) people; there a few friends [across cultures].

    September 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  267. MarkD

    Hundreds of comments and no nomination for Hiroshima, Japan? There are things to like and dislike about every place I have ever lived or visited. It would be a lousy world if every city were like Melbourne or any other.

    Carry on with the cheering and bashing. The comments are the best part of these surveys. The correct answer is "it depends on the individuals involved." For some, but not many, Pyongyang is the right answer.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  268. ofCanada

    Sorry Canuck, but it's called a Christmas tree as often as anywhere by as many people as care to. There's a reason to not shove one belief down the throats of other believers, but it's not like you get arrested or fined for it. I really hate the hay made over it by extremists. They are trying to set up an "us/them" polarized mentality and will succeed as long as they can convince people that being open and polite is tantamount to killing the baby Jesus in his manger.

    You want a hint on how to get along in the world? If you deal with the public, start with "Happy Holidays" and if they respond back "Merry Christmas," have at it. Break into carols if you like. If they don't, then maybe they're Jewish or Atheist, etc., and don't feel the need to be "born again" just for your winter comfort.

    As for this weirdness about people maintaining their cultural identity in TO, we're not a melting pot up here. Check out what multi-culturalism means. They get to have a Chinese, Jewish, Iranian, Caribbean etc. community without being forced into off-colour Anglo Saxonism for the sake of people who don't want to see anything else. I have been to a lot of cultural and multi-cultural events and NEVER ONCE turned away for being the wrong culture. They WANT Euro-Canadians to come out and see them. They want to share friendships. They just don't want to be stripped of their own culture to do this. If you want to desegregate, go to the festivals. Eat some interesting food. Watch some traditional dancing. Listen to strange instruments playing wildly different music. You'll make friends.

    September 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  269. oldskool

    i live in harare, in a 3bdrm house, a garden where i grow my veggies. I get out of my hse and there are shops very close,public transport by my doorstep, a neighbourhood clinic, a neighborhood school, equipped and with arguably the best teachers in africa. I can afford to eat everyday, thanks to my garden i can reduce my spend and eat truly organic meals. I watch tv, listen to radio, have access to the web via my cell. I have electricity but am prefer to cook on a gas stove. I have a borehole, but also have access to city water. I drink local and international brands of beverages, and since the dollarisation of the economy, earn more than a lot of americans, even if i am in the low income bracket! I am not living the life of a billionaire, but i sure have it Gooooood!

    September 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  270. mimi

    I am a Nigerian, And I live in Lagos. I do not believe that Lagos, Nigeria is one of the most unlivable cities in the world. Many parts of Lagos is beautiful especially if they are privately owned, take a visit to Festac (where I live), Victoria Island, IKoyi, Lekki ,Victoria Garden city (VGC), central bank estate, just to mention a few. I do understand some problems that is faced when living in Lagos, but even at that, Lagos is very peaceful maybe not the extreme standard of living that you would expect. There are so many places that are worst than Lagos that is not even included, say like North Africa. Because I live there, and I go through the day to day lives of a proper Nigerian. I therefore disagree that this statistic is wrong!

    September 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
  271. Gregorie

    Isn't it "Happy Holidays" in the US ? it's still "Merry Christmas" down here and its still the "Christmas" holidays. We do have a slight case on occasion of political correctness gone wild but we definitely haven't resorted to "Happy Holidays" yet

    September 2, 2011 at 2:58 am |
  272. Yeahright

    @john johnson
    With the exception of the "White Australia" which was discriminatory process of accepting immigrants – if you weren't white and already lived here you weren't booted out (I seem to remember instutionalised racist policies throughout the southern US not so long ago), there was nothing done in Australia that the US had not done within its history.
    The indiginous populations of both countries were massacred and displaced TheUS was founded on instutionalised slavery, Australia (QLD in fact) dabled in, for a short period of time, using Melanesians as indentured labour. Both treated their early Asian communities with distrust born form ignorance and a degree of jealousy.
    As to the Racial make up of Australia today yes its predominately white with a significant and growing Asian community, howver going back to a previous point – Australia was not built by slaves taken from Africa (the descendents of which make up the higher proportion of people of African Descent in Both the UK and USA ) had there been no slavery the percentage racial makeup of Australia and the USA may not have been that different .
    So I would truly like to know how Australia is the most racist society on earth, given Japans' immigration policy, Malaysias differential treatment of non Malays, Fiji's differential treatment of its size-able Indian community, The US's history which has striking similarities to that of Australia should I go on ?? – no country is perfect – every country has a part of its history that it would rather forget

    September 2, 2011 at 3:18 am |
  273. Diane Young

    I live in Perth, Australia and it is a great city to live. Wonderful weather, friendly people and a really nice lifestyle.
    You get get better than that. All of Australia is wonderful but then again I am an "Aussie".

    September 2, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  274. The Word

    The US has lost it's place in the top ten due to liberal immigration policies and an unsecured border. The US will be come a third world country in 50 years time. Australia and Canada are next thanks to the Chinese. They colonize and destroy your country one dirty chimp at a time...

    September 2, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  275. Mike

    I love how many people are questioning this list, which is the result of a very involved analysis of all aspects of 'livability', not just the price of a ticket to see 'an international (ie American) music act, or documenting a very very rare attack on what just-so-happened-to-be an international student. Rather than criticizing the list, which was devised by professionals (not tourists like you or I), perhaps those from cities who ranked poorly could learn something from Melbourne and Vienna? There are a myriad of reasons why American, Asian and European cities routinely perform so badly. And your comfy life in these places is absolutely irrelevant.

    September 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  276. eddywax

    "Laughably and easily provably incorrect, Eddy. My household income is well over $60K and I don't pay anywhere near that. It's like +/-20% BEFORE tax breaks get calc'd in. And you think its 50% just for medical? Nuts. Plain nuts. need to see yourself another specialist. "

    Taxes in canada are filled individually dear laughable provably friend and as such not based on household (to make it clearer for you one person = one social insurance number) and if you pay 20% total
    (provincial and federal )
    1) that means that your active gross income can't be that high or isn't produced via a salary
    2) you have so many kids that the deduction you are allowed brings it down to 20%.
    3) Your income comes from business mix remunerations (dividends, capital gain and salary)
    4) Your not declaring all taxables incomes

    In a nutshell it means that someone with higher tax bracket pays for the services you have access to, i do not want to be insulting but that is a fact money do not grow on trees.

    As per services access i did mentioned specialist, not a generalist so read properlly before making a comment.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  277. Mr T

    To the people saying they think Australia & Canada's dominance of the list is biased or racist, there's a big difference between personal preference of where you'd like to live, and a city's more universal liveability ranking which this survey is about. It's evaluating the factors that make a city safe & easy to live in.
    No city is perfect. Melbourne has violent crime. Melbourne has poverty & a significant homeless population. Melbourne has unemployment, racism, faults with our public transport system, traffic jams, etc. But name a city of comparable size that doesn't. Every city has those issues, and it's the extent of those issues and how much it affects the lifestyle of its residents that matters.

    Melbourne does have violent crime, but in a city of 4 million people, we have maybe one shooting a week, rarely fatal, and it'll be big news. American cities of under 500,000 people even (New Orleans, Oakland, St Louis) often have multiple shootings a day, and even those cities are comparatively safe when you consider third world regions.
    Melbourne's public transport can be unreliable with punctuality or cancelled services, but includes the largest tram network in the world, one of the biggest metropolitan train networks in the world (16 lines with over 220 stations) as well as 300 bus routes filling the gaps – and one ticket system that covers all 3 modes.
    Education? Ranked one of the best university cities in the world.
    Unemployement? Around 5%. And the minimum a person has to live on, if unemployed, is still almost $500 a fortnight on the most basic welfare benefits. The gap between "haves" and "have-nots" is minimal compared to other countries except in Aboriginal communities, which barely applies to Melbourne due to its very tiny Aboriginal population.
    Health care? Free. I've never paid a cent for any form of medical care in my life.
    Weather? Yeah winter is cold for Aussie standards, but the coldest days being around 12 degrees (53F) is pretty mild. And very little humidity in summer, though the heatwaves can be harsh.
    Culture? Melbourne is a very cosmopolitan, diverse city with bohemian areas, thriving arts and year round festivals.

    Do other cities have more culture? Yep. Do other cities have lower crime? Yep. The fact is, liveability is about the BALANCE of all these factors. The fact that cities like Melbourne & Vancouver (and most cities in Australia & Canada) rank so highly across *all* the categories is why they are so liveable. They are balanced.
    But like I said, universal liveability standards have nothing to do with personal preference. If I could get a green card, I would live in Detroit which is FAR from universally being considered "safe" or "liveable", because the cultural offerings there, while far less diverse than in Melbourne, are more in tune with what I want to immerse myself in at this point in my life. Personal preference.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  278. Martina

    I'm surprised. I've lived in Canada, and I found it extremely boring and depressing with limited opportunities for career growth and a lot of discrimination towards immigrants. Not to mention the climate. Yes, free health care but good luck finding a doctor when you need one. And for some reason, that health care does not include dental care so go ahead and pay $$$$$ out of pocket if you can afford it. People too seem very cold and indifferent. BOOOOOOORING

    September 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  279. Alaskan Sailor

    Frank from Canada
    Alaska has occasional fishing issues with our British Colombia neighbors, yet I appreciate your views. Well said and thank you.
    I was born in the territory of Alaska and maintain a cabin there, (fantastic fishing), yet I now live near Cannes France. I have traveled the world, mostly by cargo ship, but somehow, no matter where I am at, or how good the infrastructure and quality of life be someplace else, Alaska will always be my home regardless. I hope I contribute something for future generations rather than tear it down, and hope that I show the world that Americans are not the selfish and wicked people depicted here by so many, but rather hard working, generous and brave, defenders of global truth and freedom. Well, most Americans anyway. Most Americans yet believe America to be the most progressive and free country in the world, patriotism. A prosperous and balanced democratic country is a reflection of its citizens (who vote the bastards in, and out again). Democracy is forever a better choice than a dictator even with the constant bickering. I do enjoy watching televised British Parliament. Yahoo Great entertainment! All the "best" places to live have one thing in common, democracy, and that was bought and paid for by Americans fighting and dying to defend Europe and Australia.

    September 4, 2011 at 3:40 am |
  280. New Yorker

    I just moved from Manhattan New York to Sydney and may I say there is no comparison. New York is the center of arts & culture, finance, entertainment, food & a big sense of community. There is nothing to do or eat in Sydney & everything is so expensive! Also I've also encountered two bouts of racism here in a month directed at myself & my wife. This article needs to prioritize RACIAL INTERGRATION and FRIENDLINESS as factors!!!

    September 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  281. Minority in Sydney

    Australia is one of the most RACIST countries in the WORLD. Here's proof:

    September 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  282. Okie Dokie

    @Minotrity in Sydney
    One Survey done in one country and so that country must be one of "the most Racist Countries in the world" – can show the same survey done in other countries that supports this claim ?
    Seriously look at the figures – 23.8% survey had negative views towards Asians – umm so that means 76.2% have no negative views towards Asians etc etc (I hazard a guess unfortunately that you will find a similar percentage in most western countries re views on muslims) It also notes that 87% of the population sees cultural diversity as a good thing – so the article does kind of contradicts itself to a degree (cant expect much from Murdoch Press). It also doesnt state what the negative views are and who made them – an Asian Australian could hold negative views against a Muslim Australian and vice versa.
    Are there racists in Australia – Of course there is, there are racists everywhere. Have I experineced racism while I've been overseas ? definitely and yes I am white. I have had derogartory looks and remarks made about me and at me in Brazil, In Thailand, In China (both mainland and Hong Kong). I've been abused in London just because of my accent (I had the nerve to ask for directions) – Does this mean any of those places are more or less racist than Australia – ah no. I do not sit here wildly flinging accusations around I cannot support in facts.

    September 6, 2011 at 7:39 am |
  283. Umair

    Karachi, pakistan?? I was there 3 months ago. Its a massive city, one of the largest in the world. So big infact, that I didnt even notice the 'gang fights' going on in the ghettos areas. Very clean city, sophisticated lifestyle, exemplary educational institutions and alot of great companies to work for. I cant imagine how Kabul or Baghdad didnt make the worst list but Karachi did??

    September 6, 2011 at 10:58 am |
  284. Jom Reyes

    The top cities do not have a significant Muslim population. The lowest ten are basically from Muslim countries. Just a coincidence?

    September 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  285. Another minority in Sydney

    @ Okie Dokie
    You are white so you don't know. Be a minority living in a country, then open your mouth! Being a tourist is completely different – your stay is temporary & the looks you got were probably aimed at you from a monetary point of view (albeit unfairly). Eg like Japanese tourist get anywhere they go.

    1 in 4 people in Australia are racist towards Asians and you think that is a low enough statistic?!?! Taking out other minorities & races, that probably equates to 1 in 3 White Australians! We should strive for 1 in 100 or 1 in 1000. The White Australian Policy was only abolished not too long ago and there's lots of remnants of that in the day to day.

    Open your eyes & ears next time you step out...

    September 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  286. Rizzy

    what about countries like the Netherlands,Switzerland,Luxembourg,Danmark,Norway and Sweden are not in top list??these European countries also has high quality of life in every ways!!

    September 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  287. FinnDude

    Well, considering this is a list of "the most LIVABLE city", the main points in the list are crime rate or overall safety, health care, cleanliness, public transpo etc. NOT how many world class art galleries or Michelin guide restaurants there are around, which would essentially mean "most livable city, if you're wealthy". All things considered, not suprised to see Helsinki there then!

    By the way, on the "infamously high" Finn suicide rate which was mentioned on various posts, sorry to inform you, it's not that way in reality. By recent statistics, there are more suicides in France than in Finland, and isn't France the country well known for "good life", the wine, great food, sunny weather, Provence?

    Overall, what I find interesting is so many people slagging off cities/countries they've never even been to around here.
    That's like hating the film you haven't seen. Smart.

    September 9, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  288. new zealander

    I am a New Zealander, and i must say Auckland is an incredible city. almost 1/3 of NZ lives in Auckland. New Zealand has INCREDIBLE health care. every new zealander has the right to free health care, and all people under the age of 18 receive free dental care. Physiotherapy is free in New Zealand, and New Zealand provides for most of the pacific islands for all major medical care. (free of course) Our taxes may be higher in New Zealand, but we definately see what we are paying for! we have one of the best health care systems in the world and in a country of only 4 million, we do pretty good. we consistently come in top spots for standards of living, and most desirable places to live. All medicine is either free or subsidized in New Zealand, and antibiotics, which might cost you $80 in America, would only be $5 in New Zealand. We have a higher minimum than the US and of course, we have a pretty stunning country. I consider myself very lucky to live in such a diverse landscape. one minute i could be skiing the slopes up in the mountains, then a 2 hour drive and i can be sunbathing on the beaches. New Zealand and Auckland definitely deserves to be on that list. We are a very culturally diverse country, and Auckland city also has the largest polynesian population in the world. food is cheaper in New Zealand, and every thing is better quality down under!!! come on guys come on down to New Zealand!! you will love it! you can even take out loans interest free if you are at university! cant beat that! The roots of New Zealand is celebrates across all cultures of New Zealand, and the maori people serve an integral part in New Zealand politics. NZ really is a special place. Australia and New Zealand are fairly similar, we have similar laws and regulations, I admit Aussie would be a far more exciting place to live, but NZ is cheaper in most ways!

    September 9, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  289. tamasHUN

    last year i was in Sydney and i have to tell you all (after reading almost all the msg's here :)) AUS simply incredible. everybody is talking about US and AUS differences, but let check it out an EEU contry or a WEU as well....the biggest diff. is...peace.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  290. Rex Remes

    To Tom (re: #2 post above) ...

    Not sure why you said my post is 'foolish and devoid of any fact'. If you read closely what I wrote, I said the countries are 'somewhat shielded from UNWANTED immigration'. I think this to be true. Then I ask if it is a coincidence, hence wondering if there is any resulting effect. See Scott's comment at for one opinion.

    To Sam's comment at ...

    Most of us are immigrants in one way or another. I agree with you – good governance and low population growth – both mean the unwanted immigration that I was referring to is limited.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:40 am |
  291. Rex Remes

    To Tom (re: #2 post above) ...

    Not sure why you said my post is 'foolish and devoid of any fact'. If you read closely what I wrote, I said the countries are 'somewhat shielded from UNWANTED immigration'. I think this to be true. Then I ask if it is a coincidence, hence wondering if there is any resulting effect. See Scott's comment at August 31, 2011 at 2:24 pm for one opinion.

    To Sam's comment at August 31, 2011 at 5:33 am ...

    Most of us are immigrants in one way or another. I agree with you – good governance and low population growth – both mean the unwanted immigration that I was referring to is limited.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:44 am |
  292. Rex Remes

    @JJGR (August 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm) ...

    You disagree with me but you say 'they are more selective in their immigration policies' which is exactly the point I was making by saying 'unwanted immigration'. I guess you are from the deep deep South?

    Also, if A causes B, that does not mean that the absence of A causes the absence of B. So you should re-think your statement: 'If immigration were the culprit, African and Arab countries where no one moves to would not be at the bottom of the list.'

    September 14, 2011 at 2:56 am |
  293. Rex Remes

    @Paul (August 31, 2011 at 3:57 pm) ...

    I did a quick search and it looks like about 500,000 of the the 20 million illegals in the USA have made it to Canada. So, unwanted immigration is becoming a problem in Canada also.

    So, let's see if Vancouver and Toronto still make the "most livable" list in 5 years.

    September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am |
  294. Paul Brosseau

    Seriously???? those places are the most overtaxed, overpriced and over regulated in the world. I have lived in 4 of those top ten...but now I Live in Pedasi, Republic of Panama. Canada and Australia have both been ruined by Immigrants....wanted or unwanted.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  295. Paul Brosseau/from BC Canada

    And I would like to add, I am now an immigrant in the BEST country in the world. Panama.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  296. Waffler

    Did I miss the methodology for this somewhere? I'd like to know what went into these rankings, specifically.

    September 20, 2011 at 4:39 am |
  297. Scott from Calgary

    I live in Canada and it's fricking cold here

    September 23, 2011 at 4:55 am |
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  299. Bets

    Australia is the best country on earth. I have travelled the world and all I can say is that I am blessed to live here.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  300. Sarah H

    I wouldn't think so, cost of living in Melbourne is ridiculously expensive and apart from that, it's funny but public transport system is not so reliable, with more than 20 minutes to often 1 hour wait time for bus and trains.

    September 27, 2011 at 5:15 am |
  301. Nathan

    I live in Melbourne and it is a vibrent, multicultral city. Exciting city to live in, particually for its love of sports. Melbourne always has some form of major sport happening throughout the year. Weather is great, never cold and not as hot as the rest of the country apart from warm summers. Nothing better than having a summer Christmas (which we still call Christmas as someone said we don't) and new years by the beach. Melbourne is ranked the best university city in the world with 7 universities within the metro area.

    September 28, 2011 at 6:16 am |
  302. Dave

    I live on PEI. Yep, PEI. It is very small, only about 140'000 live in the whole province, but it is great. Not too big, not too small, extremely low crime rates, diverse culture and peoples, and its an island, so the winters and summers aren't too bad. Canada is a great country, and I should hope that no one bashes it!

    October 5, 2011 at 4:21 am |


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    I was born in Canada and lived there for many years. I can safely say that I would not ever live there again. This list is garbage, especially having Calgary on it. Do people not understand that weather, food, culture etc contribute to quality of life as well? Most of Canada is a car dependent frozen wasteland. There are 2 cities worth visiting: Vancouver which is beautiful but boring and has no culture whatsoever, and Montreal, which is a fairly fun and interesting city with possibly the worst climate of any notable city in the world. Do yourself a favor and skip the rest, except for day trips to Quebec City or Victoria.

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