Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary among world's most liveable cities: Survey

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Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are among the top-five liveable cities in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability survey.

The three Canadian metropolises follow top-rated Melbourne, Australia, and second-place Vienna, Austria. Vancouver had sat at the top of the liveability ranking for close to a decade but slipped slightly to the No. 3 spot this year. Toronto followed in fourth and Calgary in fifth.

For the rankings, 140 cities are given a score in five categories: stability (level of crime), health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. The cities with the highest scores top the list, with only 1.8 percentage points separating those in the top 10.

"Those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density," a summary of the report says. "This can foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure."

Canadian and Australian cities dominate the top 10, claiming a total of seven of the top 10 spots.

"The general conditions required for a location to be awarded a high liveability score continue to be well reflected in Australian and Canadian cities," the report summary says.

Cities at the bottom end of the ranking are marked by conflict, and African and Asian countries account for all 13 cities with liveability ratings below 50%.