Calgary named world's 3rd most liveable city by Economist Intelligence Unit

Stampede City tied for third place with Zurich, Switzerland out of 172 cities that were ranked around the world.

3 Canadian cities made top 10, but Calgary ranked highest

Calgary scored the highest out of any Canadian city in the Economist Intelligence Unit's ranking of most liveable cities. (Oseremen Irete/CBC)

Calgary has tied with Zurich, Switzerland for third place in the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) annual ranking of the world's most liveable cities.

Calgary has been in the top 10 before, but third spot is the highest ranking the city has reached, beating out Vancouver in fifth place and Toronto in eighth place.

"More Calgarians are telling the story of their city, and people are taking notice," said Mayor Jyoti Gondek in a statement on Thursday.

"Our climb in the rankings for Most Liveable City reflects the welcoming nature of our city, its affordability and the opportunity offered to entrepreneurs.

"We are exuding optimism and inviting people to join us in shaping our future."

Vienna, Austria scored the top spot, with Copenhagen, Denmark coming in second.

The EIU, a research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper, ranked 172 cities this year.

It said each city was given a rating out of 100 for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

With an overall score of 96.3, here is how the city fared in each category:

  • Stability: 95
  • Healthcare: 100
  • Culture and Environment: 90
  • Education: 100
  • Infrastructure: 100

"An important aspect of the rankings is the focus on liveability for all citizens given economic challenges and it continues to be a focus for Calgary," said Brad Parry, president of Calgary Economic Development, in a statement. 

"This ranking is an acknowledgement Calgary is a great city for people to make a living and a life as we help solve global challenges." 

The city has been working on reimagining downtown, most recently announcing a partnership with Gehl Studio and Stantec Calgary to turn pedestrian hub Stephen Avenue into a more vibrant area.

The EIU liveability survey said it does not take into account the cost of living.

Survey Findings

The survey said overall, scores have gone up since last year due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in many places, but the global average score is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Notably, this year, the EIU wrote in its findings that Kyiv, Ukraine was forced to be removed from the list due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The war also influenced the lower rankings of Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia because of "increased instability, censorship, imposition of Western sanctions and corporates withdrawing their operation from the country."

Damascus, Syria, as well as Tripoli, Libya and Lagos, Nigeria are at the bottom "as they face social unrest, terrorism and conflict."

Western European and Canadian cities filled up most of the top 10 spots, with the exception of Osaka, Japan tying with Melbourne, Australia for 10th place.