If you’re planning visits to Australia or Canada any time soon, be careful – you may not want to come back. At least, that’s according to a major survey of the most livable cities in the world, in which those countries placed eight of the top 10. Meanwhile, in Outside Magazine’s survey, Minnesota cities were voted two of the three most livable cities in the U.S.
For the fourth year in a row, Melbourne, Australia was named the world’s most livable city in the Economist Intelligence Unit survey. It ranks 140 cities using 30 livability factors across five main categories: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
As the Economist study says, “Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density.” Of the top seven cities, six are in either Australia or Canada, with only Vienna, Austria getting in the way at No. 2. Melbourne earned a total score of 97.5, with 100 being the maximum.
The report notes that the world is a slightly less livable place these days – in the last 12 months, the global liveability score has dropped .22 points to 75.33. What’s the least livable city of the 140? No surprise here: Damascus, Syria, with a score of 30.5.
Outside Magazine mixed math and democracy in determining the most livable cities in the U.S., with readers picking Duluth, Minnesota No. 1; Provo, Utah No. 2; and Minneapolis No. 3. However, the magazine also came up with an “O-Score” to determine livability, including such factors as bike shops, miles of trails, unemployment rates, and median incomes. The top O-Score went to Boulder, Colorado, which scored 91 of 100 but finished 10th among readers.
Which U.S. and international cities were deemed most livable? Read through our slideshow to find out.