Best Cities to Live in: Australia Versus the World

We currently live in the world where there seems there’s an app for everything, and there is probably one somewhere that can comfortably tell you the best city in the world in which to live. Here at Bobinoz, we still like surveys.

Today is a triple treat as I bring you surveys surveys surveys!

It’s interesting that when it comes to somewhere to live, which let’s face it is a big decision, there are lots of people all around the world answering surveys to help you solve this problem.

The key word used to measure cities these days appears to be “liveability”. How liveable is the city? Is it more liveable then the next city?

Best liveable cities in Australia


A couple of weeks ago I finished my series on Australia’s 11 liveable cities and for those who missed any or all of those posts, here’s the list again in order. For your convenience, they are all linked back to the original articles and videos about each of these cities.

  1. Adelaide
  2. Canberra
  3. Hobart
  4. Newcastle
  5. Geelong
  6. Brisbane
  7. Melbourne
  8. Wollongong
  9. Perth
  10. Sydney
  11. Darwin  

It isn’t the first time Adelaide have topped this particular survey, they first won it in 2010, although I didn’t get around to writing about it until early 2011. It’s well worth looking at that post called And the Best City in Australia to Live in Is… if only to read the many many comments from readers to see what they think about liveable cities in Australia.

Best liveable cities in the world

Melbourne CityThen there’s The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Liveability Survey which I have been following and writing about since way back in 2009. Back then I gave my first post on this subject the extraordinarily ingenious title of And the Best City Ever to Live In is….

Can we see a pattern forming here?

Anyway, on that occasion Melbourne were third, Perth fifth, Sydney ninth, Adelaide were in 11th place and Brisbane 16th.

Fast forward four years and the situation has changed a little. Melbourne are now top, and have been for three years running. Adelaide is joint fifth, Sydney is seventh and Perth is in ninth position. Brisbane over the years did slide down to 21st but this year has crept back into position number 20.

I still think, as I did when I first wrote about this, that for Australia to have five cities in the top 20 is a fantastic achievement, some people aren’t very happy though.

I found this fantastic quote on the Courier Mail from Stefan, and if you don’t know who Stefan is, there is no need to concern yourself about that right now; it just means you’re not from Brisbane.

Anyway, this is how unhappy he is about this…

“I think when God made the world, he made Australia last, he made Queensland very last and he made Brisbane for himself,” he said.

“Brisbane has everything. It has weather, beautiful people, facilities like no other city in Australia so it (the survey) is just uneducated.

“Maybe they came here when it was raining or something.”

Fantastic, no wonder he is famous around here.


  • For three years running Adelaide has been named as Australia’s most liveable city by Australians living in Australia.
  • For three years running Melbourne has been named as the world’s most liveable city by the people over at The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • Stefan thinks its Brisbane.

There are many conclusions to draw from these surveys, but the biggest standout statistic for me has to be that Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city in one survey, is only Australia’s seventh most liveable city in another.

It’s difficult to make sense of that.

Who do you believe?

Surveys, surveys, surveys, I suppose it depends who you ask. But I do hope some of the information here does help at least somebody decide where they want to live.

Which city do you think is the most liveable city in the world?

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Russell Chamberlain October 17, 2013, 1:10 am |

    No, no relation, just WA’s ‘recent’ Pommy version me thinks. Great site though Bob, I especially like your type/sense of humour and have been following the site for the past 18 months or more from the UK… now we’re here too (since 10th Sept) and we love it!

    • BobinOz October 17, 2013, 1:32 pm |

      Thanks Russell, yes, rather good here isn’t it?

  • Russell Chamberlain October 17, 2013, 1:03 am |

    Bunbury WA Bob… Banbury I’m sure is somewhere near Oxford!!!

    • BobinOz October 17, 2013, 1:09 am |

      Ha ha, that’s funny. I know it’s Bunbury, I said Bunbury, but I use dictation software and it obviously thought I said Banbury, which, as you say, is indeed in Oxford.

      I was pretty sure you weren’t talking about Banbury in Oxford 🙂

      (How come I got the only dictation software that is hard of hearing?)

  • Russell Chamberlain October 16, 2013, 1:43 am |

    After creating the world and the city of Brisbane, God sat back, rested for a while and sipped on his favourite pint of Carlsberg, contemplating his achievements. Then, with hindsight he went on to build Bunbury WA. Now, Carlsberg don’t build cities, but they did influence someone very special who did!!! Bunbury, probably the best city in the world… amen.

    • BobinOz October 16, 2013, 2:58 pm |

      That’s very good Russell, I like it. You’re not related to Stefan in any way are you?

      Big thumbs up for Banbury WA!

  • Christian Narvaez October 3, 2013, 12:18 am |

    I consider this type of survey bring confusion to many people and may cause take wrong decisions about the place to live.
    I can associate the term “Livability” with “Confortability” or “Easy Life”, but it excludes many other parameter that people usually are concerned about; such as access to culture, education, entretainment, quality of jobs and challenges. Not everyone is after an easy laid-back lifestyle !!!

    For example I find Brisbane very comfortable (city where I currently live for working reasons), but at the same time I find is a boring, underwhelming place, dry culturaly speaking, short minded people, limited access to shopping, entretainment, and so on. My personal preference is more about the vibe of the big cities, even if that means sacrify some level of comfortability.

    So I would like to warn this for all that people that use this type of survey for choosing the city for settling, specially when they need to decide the city before migrating

    • BobinOz October 3, 2013, 10:45 pm |

      Ah, not quite so Christian. If you click on each of those links in regards to the best liveable cities in Australia, then you will find exactly what is liked and disliked in each of those cities in, I think, 17 different categories covering entertainment, culture, job opportunities, traffic, services, in fact everything you mention. It’s probably why I think the Australian results are more helpful than the worldwide ones, either way I suggest you take another look at that survey and actually download the full report and have a good read. It’s got some very interesting information.

      By the way, I live in Brisbane, I’m not short minded. At least I don’t think I am, not really sure what it means 🙂

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