Porteños can raise a glass of Fernet and toast the fact that they have yet another reason to defend that legendary ego, now that Buenos Aires has been ranked the most “liveable” city in Latin America by The Economist, no less.
According to the 2015 Global Liveability Ranking, Buenos Aires comes out 62nd out of 140 cities surveyed around the world in terms of “liveability,” ahead of Santiago (in 64th place) and San Juan (in 67th). (Other Latin American cities such as Lima, Bogotá and Quito don’t even come close. Ha ha.)
In an age of listicles, many of you are probably weary of meaningless “top 10” listings flooding your Facebook feeds. But given that this particular ranking is presented by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) — the famed periodical’s “corporate cousin” — its findings are probably a little more legit than Buzzfeed’s, at least.
The 2015 Global Liveability Ranking is topped by Melbourne, Vienna and Vancouver, among others, and rounded out by Kiev, Lagos and Tripoli, among others. The Economist concludes that global “liveability” has fallen by 1%.
According to analyst Jon Copestake of The Economist, “Latin American cities score best in terms of culture and environment, but not so much in terms of stability.”
Effectively, while Buenos Aires is known as a cultural Mecca complete with world-class museums, galleries, theatres (Colón, anyone?), etc. — not to mention the fact that the city contains the most book stores per capita in the world — the economic instability that has rocked the country in the last few years has made life precarious, at best.
And, as Copestake adds, “many Latin American countries have a growing crime rate that makes instability worse.” Specifically, “Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela have experienced some disturbances related to their difficult economic situations.”
Fortunately, crime in Buenos Aires is generally limited to petty theft (according to a 2014 UN report, Argentina’s murder rate ranked among the lowest on the continent). The US State Department Overseas Security Advisory Clinic, for one, chiefly warns against pickpocketing. Basically, you generally don’t have to worry about civil unrest or terrorism. Generally.
At the end of the day, though, what Latin American nation doesn’t love receiving gold stars from its neighbors up north?