World's Most "Liveable" Cities

I always have questions about any of these ratings that rate happiness or whatever, but this one in particular caught my eye because the cities listed here are known to be very expensive and the term liveable implies something quite different than the ratings are based on. For instance Vancouver, BC is high on this list. A quick perusal of home prices on Zillow is showing me that it’s going to cost well over $1 million CAD to buy a 3 bed 2 bath house in Vancouver. Meanwhile in the Po these can be had for around $250,000. With 20% down the 30 year fixed mortgage payment on a $250,000 home is $1,430. On an $800,000 mortgage that payment goes up to $5,152. Not to mention almost everything else is going to be more expensive in Vancouver than the Po.

So I ask how is that “liveable”? A family can do a heck of a lot with $3700 extra in their bank account every month. The article states cuisine availability of things like Ethiopian Injera and Tibetan Momo’s but you can get both of those things in Louisville, KY the Po’est of the Po. It mentions healthcare but any one able to live in Vancouver would have an employer in the US providing that and besides the extra $45,000 a year in the bank will more than cover any deductibles or out of pocket max.

Not to mention the down payment on the more expensive home is a lot higher / harder to come up with.

Also they only ranked 173 cities worldwide… probably roughly the 173 most populous. I’m not sure most cities in the Po would be in the top 173 by population.

I’ll happily keep my $776 mortgage while working remotely over living in any of these cities.


Ages ago, some publication ranked the largest 300 or so US cities using a weighted average of various stats. Someone wrote a paper pointing out that by changing individual weights by < 10%, they could get over 150 cities ranked #1, a comparable number ranked #300, and about 70-80 cities could be ranked either #1 or #300 depending on the weights. So mathematically, these lists are crap, even / especially if they are based on “objective” criteria.


Vienna, number one on the liveable list, is not expensive -

With rents in Amsterdam being so high, it’s no wonder Dutch people split the costs of a date…


rich ppl only plz

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Hmmm, this is an Economist ranking and I subscribe to The Economist so I thought I’d be able to dig out the full list of all 173 cities. And I can! For the special low subscriber price of $7,350!

I mean, I’m curious but I’m not that curious.


(OK, they didn’t actually call that a “special low subscriber price”, but still…)

The world’s most liveable cities for people that can afford $7,350 for a magazine/newspaper subscription.


I wasn’t able to dig out the detailed criteria for the rankings but usually affordability is taken into account as one of many metrics? Vancouver many years ago used to top these types of rankings every year but as housing got expensive it slipped in the rankings and now is usually in the # 3-5 range.

Vancouver will undoubtedly lose many folks in the coming years because of its high housing costs and we will be poorer as a city as a result. Certainly affordable housing is seen as its biggest problem and there has been much in the way of zoning changes recently to increase the housing stock.

I am fortunate to be able to afford a house here and would not trade living here for living anywhere else and I have lived in other countries and cities. Vancouver is pretty special. That is one reason it is so expensive.


Here’s what my sub-$200 subscription to The Economist does buy me. Not a ranking of all 173 cities, but they do talk about the methodology. I don’t see anything about affordability or that would even correlate positively with affordability. Maybe “availability of good quality housing”, depending on exactly how they measure that.

I also don’t like the phrase “liveable” cities, because of the e.

Those pesky Europeans. Next they’ll be talking about “ageing” societies.

i’ve been wondering where i might snowbird when ig et a little older.

most of the usual states people do this in are not interesting to me (AZ, no water; FL, is florida; texas, no thanks; MS/AL/LA are not for me).

I don’t need warm. I need not as cold as the tundra i live in. so…is new mexico a winner for me?

I love NM. CO is amazing but prices are crazy. Northern NM is really beautiful, it’s south of Denver but higher altitude so about the same climate. I’ve thought about maybe a little shack near Taos.

Agree. I think “liveabl” cities looks better.


I’m not sure if you’re specifically looking to avoid red states, but North Carolina and Georgia are slowly turning purple and far cheaper than California or Hawaii. I don’t know much about New Mexico. I have a cousin in Santa Fe, but I’ve never visited her or been to New Mexico. She loves it though. Moved from Atlanta shortly after college.

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I’ve heard good things about Asheville NC. Lots of retired professional cyclists settled there.