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Calgary Named 5th Most Livable City in the World (2017)

  • August 17, 2017
  • By Cody Battershill

Calgary is the 5th Most Livable City in the World… Again5th Best City to Live In the World

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Livability Survey has once again found three Canadian cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary - to be among the most livable in the world!

Calgary has ranked 5th overall in 2017 which may come to be not much of a surprise if you’re familiar with the EIU’s Livability Survey; the southern Albertan city has held this spot now for 9 consecutive years (2009 to 2017).

While this survey cannot consider your personal preferences when it comes to the place you live, it does use key indicators like access to healthcare, educational standards and political freedoms to create a ranking of ‘livability’ for cities all over the world.

The EIU’s methods are explained briefly below. But first, lets look at the world’s top 10 cities to live in 2017. See last years EIU LIvability Survey Ranking for Calgary here.

Top 10 Most Livable Cities 2017I love Calgary

  • #1 - Melbourne, Australia
  • #2 – Vienna, Austria
  • #3 – Vancouver, Canada
  • #4 – Toronto, Canada
  • #5 – Calgary, Canada
  • #6 – Adelaide, Australia
  • #7 – Perth, Australia
  • #8 – Auckland, New Zealand
  • #9 – Helsinki, Finland
  • #10 – Hamburg, Germany

General Survey Findingsyyc downtown west end river view from peace bridge

Increasing instability all over the world has caused the scores for several indexed cities to change. In Europe, the perceived threat of terrorism in nations like France, Germany and England has resulted in a lowered sense of security for many citizens. Meanwhile, some places like Reykjavik, Iceland and Amsterdam, Netherlands, for example, have benefited from lower crime rates and heightened cultural availability, ultimately boosting their scores in certain categories.

Despite the increased awareness of terrorism in many global cities, 12 of the 17 cities who had their index ranking on the livability survey changed between 2016 and 2017 received better scores. This reflects positive changes in other categories despite the unrest and heightened threat of terrorism, of which many cities continue to deal with around the globe.

Further civil unrest because of terrorism and other unmentioned factors in places like Syria, Nigeria and Iraq has also pushed scores down for cities in these regions. In addition, the rise of movements such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ in the United States – a relatively stable and livable country – and new controversial policies proposed by the 45th President – Donald J. Trump - has resulted in downward pressure on the livability scores of many American cities.

As always, diplomatic tensions between various nations of the world such as the United States, Russia, North Korea and Iran to name a few, and the implications of a possible military engagement between these countries, should give no surprise to the fact that some cities lost some points in their safety and security rankings.

By the Numbershistory of calgary infographic downtown skyline 1988 2026

  • 6 of the 10 top cities are in Canada and Australia, each with population densities of 3.7 and 2.9 square people per square kilometre.
  • A total of 12 cities have improved their scores over the past years’ index, up from 7 in 2016
  • Overall, the global average livability score has dropped to 74.8%, down 0.8% over the past 5 years
  • The global average stability score has dropped from 73.4% in 2012 to 71.4% in 2017, down 2%
  • 95 of 140 cities over the past five years have seen change in their overall scores
  • Of these 95 cities, 66 have seen decreases in their livability
  • Of 65 cities who scored 80 points or higher, only 6 have seen a change in their score since 2016
  • Manchester, UK and Stockholm, Sweden are two European cities who have seen a drop in their scores due to high-profile terrorist attacks as of late.

How It WorksI love Calgary

The EIU uses 30 different indicators spread across 5 categories to evaluate the 140 cities on its Livability Survey. These are:

Stability – 25% - Calgary’s Score – 100/100

  • Threat of terror
  • Threat of military conflict
  • Threat of conflict and civil unrest
  • Rates of all types of crime

Culture & Environment – 25% - Calgary’s Score – 89.1/100

  • Quality of food and drink
  • Quality of consumer goods and services
  • Censorship and corruption levels
  • Sporting availability
  • Temperature, humidity and climate ratings
  • Religious and social restrictions
  • Cultural availability

Heathcare – 20% - Calgary’s Score – 100/100

  • Quality of healthcare
  • Availability of healthcare
  • Availability of medicine

Infrastructure – 20% - Calgary’s Score – 96.4/100

  • Telecommunications
  • Quality of housing
  • Availability of housing
  • Quality of roads
  • Quality of public transportation
  • Energy and water infrastructure

Education – 10% - Calgary’s Score – 100/100

  • Quality and availability of public education
  • Quality and availability of private education


I Love Calgary!

Congratulations my beloved city on another year as the 5th most livable city in the world! For more of everything to do with Calgary including local activities, events and restaurants, give us a like at Calgaryism on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and stay updated via your live social media feed. We hope to see you there!

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Category: Blog, Calgary