Adelaide moves up world’s most liveable city ranking – but still behind Melbourne

Adelaide has been ranked the world’s 11th most liveable city on a global index but two big eastern capitals made the top 10.

Jun 28, 2024, updated Jun 28, 2024
The city of Adelaide. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

The city of Adelaide. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

For a third consecutive year, Melbourne retained its title as Australia’s most liveable city on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability index.

The EIU’s 2024 report released this week places Melbourne 4th in the world ahead of Sydney (7th), Adelaide (11th), Perth (15th) and Brisbane (16th).

Austrian capital Vienna was ranked the world’s most liveable city for a third year running. The full top 20 list is below.

The EIU index ranks 173 cities worldwide on five metrics: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. It is primarily targeted at governments, businesses and financial firms that are contemplating global expansions, worker relocations or market entry strategies.

Adelaide’s 11th-placed ranking is an improvement on its 12th-placed finish in 2023 and 30th-place finish in 2022.

But it’s not as high as the city’s 3rd place finish in 2021, which saw Adelaide win the title of Australia’s most liveable city while Melbourne and Sydney grappled with COVID-19 lockdowns.


Melbourne has been ranked Australia’s most liveable city for a third year running. Photo: Diego Fedele/AAP

Premier Peter Malinauskas said the 11th place finish “reinforces what most of us already know – that Adelaide enjoys a lifestyle that is the envy of the world”.

“While we are facing challenges in areas such as cost of living, health and housing, I think we can all agree we are fortunate to live in one of the most liveable cities in the world, with plenty of opportunity ahead for the next generation,” he said in a statement.

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“This is something we cannot afford to take for granted, and the government is committed to doing everything it can to maintain and enhance the enviable lifestyle we enjoy as South Australians.”

Melbourne and Sydney both slipped slightly from their 3rd and 4th place finishes on last year’s index.

The EIU said this was due to an “acute housing crisis”, with Sydney’s median house price currently north of $1.4 million while Melbourne’s is nearing $950,000.

“Although still towards the top of our ranking, both of the leading Australian cities (Sydney and Melbourne) have slipped down amid a significant shortfall in housing availability,” the EIU 2024 summary report states.

“The cost-of-living crisis drags on in many countries, with housing costs emerging as one of the stickiest elements of inflation.

“The situation is particularly worrying in Australia and Canada, where the availability of rental properties is at an all-time low and purchase prices have continued to rise despite interest-rate increases, further fuelling anti-immigration sentiment.”


Housing affordability has dragged down Sydney’s liveability ranking. Photo: Mick Tsikas/AAP

At the other end of the scale, Syrian capital Damascus was ranked the world’s least livable city behind Tripoli in Libya and Algiers in Algeria.

Israel’s Tel Aviv recorded the biggest drop in liveability (92nd to 112th) amid the conflict in Gaza, while Hong Kong had the biggest rise (61st to 50th).

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