Vienna has topped the rankings of The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2022 Global Liveability Index, gaining back its previous position from 2019 and 2018, mostly for its stability and good infrastructure, supported by good healthcare and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment. Western European and Canadian cities dominated the top positions with Copenhagen, Denmark in second place and Zurich, and Calgary in third place. Adding 33 new cities to the survey, one-third of which are in China, bringing the total up to 173 cities, the classification excluded this year the city of Kyiv, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Global Liveability Index quantifies the challenges presented to an individual’s lifestyle and quality of life in 173 cities. In 2022, relaxed covid-19 restrictions in some parts of the world led to big shifts across liveability scores, with Vienna claiming top place again as the most liveable city in the world.

Top Ten of the Global Liveability Index; Source: © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2022 (EIU)

Top Ten of the Global Liveability Index; Source: © The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2022 (EIU)

The annual liveability survey reviews stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure factors to determine liveability rankings for cities worldwide. Read our report to compare liveability trends and quality of life by city comparisons. This up to date information on standards of living across cities can inform business and investment decisions for your organisation. You can download a free summary of the Report 2022 here.

The Key Findings of the lastest Global Liveability Survey from EIU

In the summary of the report, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) writes:

  • “EIU’s Liveability Index has risen sharply in the 2022 survey (conducted between February 14th and March 13th). Scores for culture and environment, healthcare and education have improved on the back of covid-19 curbs being eased. However, the global average score remains below pre-pandemic levels.
  • A rollback of covid-19 restrictions has translated into liveability rankings resembling those seen before the pandemic. Vienna (Austria) tops the rankings in 2022, as it did in 2019 and 2018.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th has forced us to exclude Kiev (Ukraine) from our survey. The conflict has influenced rankings for Moscow and St Petersburg (Russia). Both cities record a fall in scores owing to increased instability, censorship, imposition of Western sanctions and corporates withdrawing their operations from the country.
  • Eastern European cities slip in the rankings amid increased geopolitical risks. If the cost-of-living crisis were to trigger further discord in international ties or domestic politics, stability scores would be likely to slide further for such cities next year.
  • Western European and Canadian cities dominate the top of our rankings. Life is almost back to normal in these cities on account of high covid-19 vaccination rates and the easing of restrictions. Copenhagen (Denmark) has moved up 13 places from its position 12 months ago, to second, and Zurich (Switzerland) now shares third place with Calgary (Canada), which has risen from 18th position.
  • Damascus (Syria) and Tripoli (Libya) continue to languish at the bottom of the list—along with Lagos (Nigeria)—as they face social unrest, terrorism and conflict. However, most of the cities in the bottom ten have improved their scores compared with last year, as pandemic-induced pressures have eased.
  • We have added 33 new cities to our rankings, one-third of them in China. This brings the total number of cities to 172, excluding Kiev. Many of the new entrants, such as Surabaya (Indonesia) and Chongqing (China), are already fast-growing business destinations.


The EIU summarises: “For the past two years, EIU’s global liveability rankings have been largely driven by the covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and social distancing measures affecting scores for culture, education and healthcare in cities across the world. However, in our most recent survey, the index has normalised, as restrictions have been lifted in many countries. Vienna, which slipped to 12th place in our rankings in early 2021 as its museums and restaurants were closed, has since rebounded to first place, the position it held in 2018 and 2019. Stability and good infrastructure are the city’s main charms for its inhabitants, supported by good healthcare and plenty of opportunities for culture and entertainment.”