COVID-19 has shaken up the Economist Intelligence Unit's annual ranking of most liveable cities, with New Zealand and Australian cities dominating the list after delivering a strong response to the pandemic. "New Zealand's tough lockdown allowed their society to reopen and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life," the EIU said in a statement. The survey data was collected between February 22, 2020, and March 21, 2021. The period witnessed a series of pandemic waves across the world, impacting the overall global average liveability score, which fell by 7 points compared to the pre-pandemic data. Here's a look at the top 10 world cities that made it to the list.
10. Brisbane, Australia
One of the popular tourist destinations of Australia, also known for its cuisine, outdoor dining and modern architecture, ranked tenth on the list.
9. Melbourne, Australia
The city with the cultural heritage of Australia has been placed at the ninth spot. It ranked second on the list in 2019.
8. Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva, referred as the financial and global centre for diplomacy, ranked eighth on the list.
7. Zurich, Switzerland
The city is a global centre for banking and finance and has been placed at the seventh spot.
6. Perth, Australia
The city of Perth is among the famous tourist spots of the country and has been placed at the sixth position on the EIU 2021 index report.
5. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo serves as the largest urban economy in the world, in terms of GDP and is the capital of Japan. The city is an economic, political centre of the country and grabbed the fifth spot on the list.
4. Wellington, New Zealand
Illustrating New Zealand's advantage this year, Wellington entered the top 10 list of EIU 2021. The capital of New Zealand, which is also an IT hub and includes the busiest airport in the world, came fourth on the list.
3. Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide leapfrogged its compatriots Sydney and Melbourne to third place on the list. The city, known for its sports events, high standard of living and festivals, was placed at 10th spot in 2019.
2. Osaka, Japan
Osaka city in Japan rose two spots to second place on the list. The city is famous for its nightlife, street food, modern architecture and serves as Japan's economic hub.
1. Auckland, New Zealand
The pandemic propelled Auckland to first place, replacing Vienna, which crashed out of the top 10 as the island nations of New Zealand, Australia and Japan fared best. The city is an economic hub of the country that attracts international students to its renowned universities. New Zealand's elimination of COVID-19 within its borders through lockdown measures gave its cities a big boost. The last time Auckland was in the top 10 was in 2017 when it came eighth on the list.