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Resilient Manchester named highest European climber in global “liveability” index

14th August 2018

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Resilient Manchester has bounced back even stronger from the Manchester Arena attack, resuming its rapid ascent of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking.

The city achieved the highest rise of any European rival in the 2018 index, climbing 16 places to be named the 35th most “liveable” city in the world.

Manchester has now retained its place as the UK’s most liveable city since the index began in 2011 and is 13 places ahead of London in the world rankings, the widest ever gap between the two cities.

Manchester climbed from 51st to 46th place in 2015 and to 43rd place in 2016 but fell to 51st position in 2017, prompting criticism that it was unfair to suggest that living conditions had declined as a result of the arena attack.

The worldwide league table ranks 140 cities on a range of factors, including political and social stability, crime, education and access to healthcare.

The Global Liveability Ranking report states that an improvement in stability has been the underlying factor affecting movements in the most liveable cities.

The survey’s authors noted that Manchester’s “resilience in the face of adversity” enabled it to quickly recover from the Manchester Arena terror attack.

“Of the top-ranked cities, Paris in France and Manchester in the UK recorded the biggest improvements over the past 12 months, both in overall scores and stability ratings,” the report added.

“Although they have been subject to high-profile terrorist attacks in recent years, which have shaken stability and led to cumbersome security measures, both cities have shown resilience in the face of adversity.”

Vienna in Austria overtook Melbourne in Australia to be ranked the number one most liveable city in the world, with Damascus in Syria ranked lowest of all those cities included in the survey.

The improved global ranking is in line with Manchester’s ambition to become a top-20 global city by 2035.

Mike Blackburn, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This ranking not only reflects Manchester’s resilience in the face of adversity but also marks a welcome return to the city’s consistent, year-on-year improvements in the world rankings, highlighting the progress being made in achieving our ambition to be a top 20 global city by 2035.

“Manchester has a strong employment offering across its growing sectors, with excellent transport connectivity and work-life balance combining to make this a great city in which to live. Improvements in healthcare and education, alongside attractive qualities such as our thriving night-time economy and sports offering, continue to attract people from around the world to live, work and study in Manchester.

“It is great to see Manchester acknowledged as the most liveable city in the UK and continuing its ascent of the world rankings.”

Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, said: “The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking provides an invaluable insight into Manchester’s position on the global stage.

“The city has achieved almost consistent improvements in its rankings since the index began in 2011 and is on target to achieve its ambition to be a top 20 global city.

“It is fantastic to see the world acknowledge that Manchester is a great place to visit, live, study, invest and meet.”

The top 10 most liveable cities

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Melbourne, Australia
  3. Osaka, Japan
  4. Calgary, Canada
  5. Sydney, Australia
  6. Vancouver, Canada
  7. Toronto, Canada
  8. Tokyo, Japan
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Adelaide, Australia

The 10 least liveable cities

  1. Dakar, Senegal
  2. Algiers, Algeria
  3. Douala, Cameroon
  4. Tripoli, Libya
  5. Harare, Zimbabwe
  6. Port Moresby, PNG
  7. Karachi, Pakistan
  8. Lagos, Nigeria
  9. Dhaka, Bangladesh
  10. Damascus, Syria

Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “It is excellent to see Manchester feature among the world’s most liveable cities. It is an exciting place to live, work and study, with an enviable reputation as an attractive destination for students from across the UK and worldwide. The new ranking serves to reinforce Manchester’s reputation as a welcoming and dynamic city, one we’re proud to call home.” 

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