After stealing Brazil’s position as top destination for tourists in South America, Argentina is at it again – with Buenos Aires being awarded the superlative of most liveable city in Latin America, according to The Economist’s Global Liveability Index.
Coming in at 61st place out of 140 cities globally, this will be the City’s fourth consecutive year leading the ranking in Latin America. The Chilean capital, Santiago, finished a close second (63rd), and is followed by Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, which ranks third in the region.
The Global Liveability Index from The Economist Intelligence Unit has been in action for eight years and takes note of the following indicators: stability, culture and environment, education, and health and infrastructure. These measure around 100 different aspects from standards of living to economic and political stability.
Buenos Aires scored 82.4 points out of a 100, which is above the regional average of Latin America at 68.2 points. The City is also above the average for Central and East Europe (72.1), as well as Asia and Oceania (72.9). However, it scored below the regional average for North America (90.7) and Western Europe (92.4).
Fernando Staface, the General Secretary of International Relations for Buenos Aires, said that “these rankings are important because they build external perception.” He also highlighted that “the indicator in which we are best is in Education, were we scored 100, the same as cities like Boston, Paris and London. The average of North America is 98.3 and that of Western Europe, 93.8. We have calculated that this year there are approximately 60,000 foreign students carrying out educational experiences in Buenos Aires. This tendency is growing, because the City offers both good and accessible education.”
More conclusively, Buenos Aires’s cultural category also scored highly in the recent report – being one of the cities with most theaters in the world, apart from London. Additionally, it’s the city with most bookstores per capita. Moreover, the City isn’t just called Buenos Aires (“Good Airs”) for nothing, as temperatures are relatively moderate all year round, scoring respectfully in the Index’s environmental indicator.
Globally, after six years, Vienna knocked Melbourne off the podium for first place honors. The Austrian city’s low crime rate and extensive cultural life ensured its spot on top as the most liveable city. Out of 100 points, Vienna scored a col 99.1; Melbourne fell behind with 98.4 points.
Generally speaking, the top ten positions were occupied by two other Australian cities (Sydney taking fifth spot and Adelaide coming tenth); three Canadian cities (Calgary in fourth, Vancouver in sixth, and Toronto in eighth); two Japanese cities (Osaka third and Tokyo seventh), and the Danish city of Copenhagen finishing ninth.
Finishing in last were Dakar (Senegal), Algiers (Algeria), Douala (Cameroon), Libya (Tripoli), Karachi (Pakistan), Nigeria (Lagos), and Damascus (Syria). Sadly, some cities, like the Afghan capital Kabul, didn’t even make the cut for the index.
Shockingly, the financial centers of the world, London (48) and New York (57), didn’t even come close to the top 10. This could be blamed on reasons such as insecurity and overcrowded public infrastructure within both cities.
The report conveys that densely populated large cities did not fare well due to higher crime rates, and insufficient access to housing. Medium-sized cities, with around one million inhabitants, scored better within these categories.