The most liveable cities in the world

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has published a new BCG city ranking “Cities of Choice”. London is at the top of the list. Rio de Janeiro and Santiago de Chile however, bring up the rear in the ranking. With Hamburg and Berlin, two German cities are represented too – in the middle of the ranking. Read all about the ranking results and which metropolises BCG currently considers the world’s most liveable cities here.

The ranking recently published by the Boston Consulting Group compared 45 major international cities in terms of their quality of life. BCG compiled a multitude of statistics combined with surveys of citizens. The result is intended to provide a subjective view on the topic of “life satisfaction in the city”.

The most liveable cities in the world – studied by BCG

BCG summarises in six points why the satisfaction of a city’s citizens is so important for a city administration:

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Pull effect on qualified employees

If a city is particularly liveable, it attracts talented workers who bring technical know-how and can drive innovation. Studies by BCG show that the quality of life and the satisfaction of its citizens have an influence on the economic development of a city.

Conservation of resources in the health sector

If citizens are happy with their city, this can result in a healthier lifestyle and a longer life. This reduces the pressure on the health system and its resources.

Support for long-term projects

With regard to large-scale projects that take longer than one legislative period to realise, strong support from the citizenry is necessary to avoid resistance to such projects in the long term.

Avoiding conflicts

In shared urban spaces, conflicts can arise due to the collision of different interests and demands. The city must proactively address new needs and behaviours in order to avoid these conflicts.

Election results

There is also a political dimension: Recent MIT research shows that happier citizens are more likely to participate in political elections for city government. Moreover, the happier the urban population, the rosier the prospects for re-election of the incumbent party.

Positive feedback

According to the BCG, satisfaction breeds more satisfaction. To achieve that it is crucial that citizens are able to have socially oriented relationships with other happy people. A focus on the quality of life in the city could thus help to spiral towards citizen satisfaction.

London, New York and Helsinki most liveable cities in the world according to BCG study

In the BCG ranking of the most liveable cities in the world, London with 65.7 points overall and New York with 64.9 points occupy the first two places, followed by Helsinki in Finland with 60.2 points. Copenhagen (59.8), Abu Dhabi (59.4), Madrid (59.3), Beijing and Vienna (both 59.2), Zurich (58.7) and Sydney (58.3) follow in the top ten. The two German cities considered in the BCG ranking of the world’s most liveable cities are in the midfield: Hamburg (53.2) shares 17th place with Dubai and Berlin (48.7) 29th place with Vancouver. The two Brazilian cities Sao Paulo (28.4) and Rio de Janeiro (22.5), together with Santiago de Chile (20.8), bring up the rear in the statistics.

Most liveable cities: Beijing and Delhi on top in terms of change

In the respective subcategories “Quality of Life”, “Economic Opportunities”, “Social Capital” and “Interaction with Authorities”, the three most liveable cities in the world are not always top performers, but score consistently high. In the category “speed of change”, however, they tend to be at the bottom of the statistics. Top performers in this category because of constant and fast-moving construction and development projects: Beijing and Delhi (28th place) with 94 points each. In terms of quality of life, Vienna tops the list with 72 points, followed by Zurich (69) and London (68).

New Zealand excel with public authorities

San Francisco offers the best economic opportunities worldwide, scoring 81 points in the ranking. It is followed by Zurich with 79 and Abu Dhabi with 78 points. The greatest social capital is found in Mumbai (34th place, 85 points), Delhi and Beijing (both 81). New Zealanders in particular stand out for their uncomplicated dealings with the authorities. Wellington, which shares 21st place with Shanghai, leads this sub-category with 83 points. It is followed by Auckland with 79 and Singapore with 77 points.

More information and the complete “Cities of Choice” ranking of the most liveable cities worldwide can be found in the brochure on the BCG website.

Are you interested in other city news? Since a few weeks, the new Esperance Bridge, built by Moxon in London’s boom district King’s Cross, connects old and new in several ways.