Vienna ‘world’s most liveable city’ for second year in a row

The Austrian capital Vienna has retained its ranking as the world's most liveable city, according to an annual report from the Economist.

Vienna 'world's most liveable city' for second year in a row
Vienna's Heldenplatz (Square of Heroes). Photo: DPA

For the second year running, Vienna has been named the World’s Most Liveable City in a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The Austrian capital came in ahead of the Australian city Melbourne, which held the title for seven years before losing out to Vienna in 2018.

A city’s liveability is determined by a range of factors, including living standards, crime, transport infrastructure, access to education and healthcare, as well as political and economic stability, with the EIU scoring 140 cities out of 100.

Vienna maintained last year’s winning score of 99.1 points thanks to its convenient public transport, refreshing Alpine tap water and varied cultural life. This was reflected in another survey, with HR consulting firm Mercer naming Vienna the city with the highest quality of living for the 10th time in a row.

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Europe is home to eight of the EIU's 20 most liveable cities, with cities in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada making up the rest. Take a look at the five highest ranking and lowest ranking cities.

The most liveable cities:

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Melbourne, Australia

3. Sydney, Australia

4. Osaka, Japan

5. Calgary, Canada

The least liveable cities:

136. Karachi, Pakistan

137. Tripoli, Libya

138. Dhaka, Bangladesh

139. Lagos, Nigeria

140. Damascus, Syria

London and New York missed out on a place in the Top 20, coming in at 48th and 58th respectively, due to overstretched infrastructure and the perceived risk of crime and terrorism. The French capital Paris fell out of the Top 20 this year, dropping from 19th to 25th, following the anti-government “yellow vest” protests.

In a press release, the EIU stated “Western Europe and North America continue to be the most liveable regions in the world.” Though Agathe Demarais of the EIU pointed out, “we expect problems relating to climate change to put increasing pressure on liveability scores in the coming years and for the number of cities affected to grow”.

She highlighted that improvements in liveability thanks to greater stability, better education and healthcare, which have recently occurred in emerging cities, “are under serious threat from an increasingly adverse climate”.

For example, New Delhi and Cairo plunged to 118th and 125th place respectively in the rankings as a result of “poor air quality, undesirable average temperatures and inadequate water provision”.



Energy costs: Vienna to support 200,000 households with up to €500

The City of Vienna is expanding its group of homes that can receive an energy cost voucher by the end of the year. Here's what you need to know.

Energy costs: Vienna to support 200,000 households with up to €500

Austria’s capital Vienna is expanding a program to subsidise part of the energy bills of around 200,000 eligible households, the City said in a press release.

“Energy costs are difficult for many Viennese to cope with in the current situation. We are helping those who need the support most urgently – and we are doing so in a targeted manner by settling outstanding bills with energy providers”, City Councillor for Social Affairs Peter Hacker said.

The City has already agreed with state-run energy company Wien Energie that, from December 2022 to February 2023, no electricity, gas or heat shutdowns will happen – regardless of any payment issues.

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Now, a group of more vulnerable people can apply for Energy Support Plus to get up to €500 in aid with their energy bills.

The following people can apply online at for Energy Support Plus: Recipients of Vienna minimum income (Bezieher*innen von Wiener Mindestsicherung), housing assistance (Wohnbeihilfe), AIVG benefits (AIVGLeistungen), a compensatory or supplementary allowance (einer Ausgleichs- oder Ergänzungszulage), GIS-exempt persons and low-income earners (GIS-Befreite und Geringverdienende) who are covered by the cost cap of the Renewable Expansion Act, those entitled to sickness benefit (Krankengeld), rehabilitation benefit (Rehabilitationsgeld), reintegration benefit (Wiedereingliederungsgeld) or transitional allowance (Übergangsgeld).

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Applications can be submitted until December 31st, 2022. The maximum subsidy amount is €500 per household.

The service telephone of the Department for Social Affairs, Social and Health Law, is available at 01/4000-8040 for information and assistance with applications. Wien Energie’s customer service also offers personal assistance with the application process at Spittelau.