The 20 Best Cities To Live In The World, Ranked In A 2024 Report

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What are the best cities to live in the world? Every year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) evaluates cities across the globe for their liveability, releasing the much-anticipated Global Liveability Index 2024.

This year, the new report examines 173 cities using data like stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education and infrastructure, then ranks them on a 100-point scale.

For the third consecutive year, Vienna, Austria, claims the title of the world’s best city to live. Achieving perfect scores in stability, healthcare and education, Vienna is celebrated for its unmatched blend of cultural richness and essential public services.

Overall, Western Europe remains the world’s most liveable region with eight cities in the top 20. Coming in second on the list—also for the third year in a row—is Copenhagen, Denmark. Zurich, Switzerland ousted Melbourne, Australia to take the third place on the list in 2024 (a position it held in 2022). Compare these results to 2023 and 2022.

Global Trends

So what do the results say about global liveability? This year’s report reveals a positive trend, primarily driven by significant improvements in healthcare and education in developing nations. However, these gains are somewhat offset by declining scores in several top-tier cities.

“Global liveability has risen fractionally over the past year but risks to stability remain,” Barsali Bhattacharyya, deputy industry director at EIU, explained in a press release. “High inflation, accompanied by interest rates and other economic headwinds, has led to frequent protests worldwide.”

Geopolitical risks also had an impact on the index, as seen with the war affecting Tel Aviv’s rankings. “The world is experiencing rising polarization, evidenced by increased protests and dissatisfaction with governmental policies,” said Bhattacharyya.

The Best Cities to Live in the U.S.

Again this year, the U.S. didn’t crack the list of top 20 best places to live—but it moved up, with Honolulu taking the top spot as the best U.S. city to live. Honolulu ranked 23 on the overall list—a two point increase from 2023, when it was number 25.

Honolulu performed well due to its robust educational facilities. It also scored strongly on stability as compared to other U.S. cities.

The Biggest Changes

Despite dominating the top 20 with eight cities on the list, Europe faces challenges, recording the largest overall decline due to deteriorating stability scores. A surge in protests across Western Europe—spanning issues from far-right extremism to EU agricultural policies—reflects underlying societal tensions that could threaten future stability.

Meanwhile, the Middle East and North Africa region presents stark contrasts. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has significantly impacted Tel Aviv, which has plummeted by 20 places to rank 112th. On the other hand, Gulf cities like Dbai and Abu Dhabi have seen improvements in healthcare and education, pushing their liveability scores higher.

In North America, a housing crisis has impacted the results—pushing infrastructure scores down. Toronto dropped from the top 10 in 2023 to the 12th position for 2024. Meanwhile, some major U.S. cities showed big drops. Miami went from number six last year to number eight this year.

Read on for the rankings of the best cities to live around the world and in the United States.

Ranked: The 20 Best Cities To Live in the World

1. Vienna, Austria

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

3. Zurich, Switzerland

4. Melbourne, Australia

5. Calgary, Canada (tied with Geneva)

5. Geneva, Switzerland (tie)

7. Sydney, Australia (tied with Vancouver)

7. Vancouver, Canada (tie)

9. Osaka, Japan (tied with Aukland)

9. Auckland, New Zealand (tie)

11. Adelaide, Australia

12. Toronto, Canada

13. Helsinki, Finland

14. Tokyo, Japan

15. Perth, Australia

16. Brisbane, Australia

17. Frankfurt, Germany (tied with Luxembourg)

17. Luxembourg, Luxembourg (tie)

19. Amsterdam, Netherlands

20. Wellington, New Zealand

Ranked: The 10 Best Cities To Live In The U.S.

1. Honolulu, Hawaii (overall ranking: 23)

2. Atlanta, Georgia (overall ranking: 29)

3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (overall ranking: 30)

4. Seattle, Washington (overall ranking: 34)

5. Washington D.C. (overall ranking: 38)

6. Chicago, Illinois (overall ranking: 39)

7. Boston, Massachusetts (overall ranking: 45)

8. Miami, Florida (overall ranking: 47)

9. San Francisco, California (overall ranking: 49)

10. Minneapolis, Minnesota (overall ranking: 50)

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