Melbourne has kept its crown as the best place in the world to live for the fourth year running with a near-perfect score.
The Victorian capital narrowly edged out Vienna, as well as maintaining a safe distance at the top from its traditional rival Sydney, which finished below Adelaide on the ladder.
Melbourne was the top of the class again with an overall rating of 97.5 out of 100 in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual liveability survey.
“It’s terrific to know that we scored perfect scores in healthcare, education, infrastructure and sport,” Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said.
Australia and Canada dominated the top 10 in the survey, which looks at a range of factors, chiefly political stability and strength of institutions.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle was keen to inform his Vancouver counterpart that the city would be adding another trophy to its growing cabinet.
“I will jump on the phone to the Mayor of Vancouver Gregor Robertson straight away,” he said on Tuesday after Vancouver placed third on the list.
“It’s the middle of the night there, but I’m sure he will want to get the news as soon as he possibly can and I’m happy to help him do that.”
Dr Napthine says Melbourne’s high ranking is reflected in a significant increase in international tourists, as visitors flock to the city to experience its enviable lifestyle and revel in its arts and cultural scene.
“The figures from Melbourne airport show a 15 per cent increase, year on year, on international visitation. Our tourism is going through the roof.”
Despite Sydney’s warmer climate, it has some catching up to do, placing seventh in the survey, behind the city of churches in fifth.
Perth and Auckland rounded off the top 10, in ninth and tenth respectively.
And Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s reputation has further been shattered.
The dictator now has the dubious honour of presiding over the most unliveable city in the world, with Damascus down at number 140 in the survey after three years of brutal civil war.
THE WORLD’S TOP 10 MOST LIVEABLE CITIES:
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5=. Adelaide, Australia
5=. Calgary, Canada
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Perth, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand.