World's most liveable city 2014 is ...

Story highlights

  • No change in EIU's top 10 liveable cities since 2011
  • Melbourne takes first place for fourth year in a row
  • Damascus, Kiev among cities that declined significantly

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims its annual Liveability Survey could be used to "assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages," among other things.

But that needn't apply to those in Melbourne, which for the fourth year running has been declared the best city in the world to live.

The Australian culture hub was buoyed by superlative healthcare, infrastructure and education as well as a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 people, half the global average of 6.2.

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Melbourne's total score of 97.5, assessed on various factors such as "stability" and "culture and environment," as well as those mentioned above, was just 0.1 points above Vienna, which scored identically across all categories to Melbourne except culture and environment.

The top 10 list hasn't changed since 2011 and of the 140 cities surveyed, only 20 changed score in the last year.

"Over half of the changes taking place over the past 12 months have been driven by deteriorating scores," said the report, "with instability re-emerging as a key factor in influencing global scores.

"Events in Ukraine, in particular, have had significant knock-on effects for cities such as Kiev, Moscow and St Petersburg.

"Localized instability has also affected locations like Bangkok.

"The score of Damascus in Syria has continued to decline, although the escalation in Iraq is not reflected in our ranking because Baghdad is not included in the survey."

Tehran in Iran, Tripoli in Libya and Amman in Jordan saw their scores improve, having "enjoyed periods of relative stability following significant falls in liveability."

But over the last five years, global liveability has declined overall, "highlighting the fact that the last five years have been characterized by heightened unrest in the wake of the global economic crisis."

Kiev (Ukraine), Tripoli (Libya) and Damascus (Syria) have seen the biggest falls in liveability over the last five years, says the report.

10 most liveable cities

Melbourne's cafe culture isn't the only reason to visit.

1. Melbourne

2. Vienna, Austria

3. Vancouver, British Columbia

4. Toronto

=5. Adelaide, Australia

=5. Calgary, Alberta

7. Sydney

8. Helsinki, Finland

9. Perth, Australia

10. Auckland, New Zealand

10 least liveable cities

131. Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

132. Tripoli, Libya

133. Douala, Cameroon

134. Harare, Zimbabwe

135. Algiers, Algeria

136. Karachi, Pakistan

137. Lagos, Nigeria

138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

139. Dhaka, Bangladesh

140. Damascus, Syria

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