Adelaide: Still One of the Most Liveable Cities in the World

If I’m not mistaken, the last time I wrote about the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Liveability Survey was in 2012. Before that, I’d written about it four times, you can access all of those posts from this one called Worlds Most Liveable City is NOT Brisbane?

The first time I reported on this survey Melbourne were the third most livable city in the world, the following year they moved into second place. Then in 2011 Melbourne became the most livable city in the world and they have stayed there ever since, so that six years in a row.

Well done Melbourne!

MelbourneThe main reason I stopped mentioning this survey is because the top 10 hasn’t really changed that much. If I look at how it was in August 2011, the top five were, apart from one small matter, the same today as they were six years ago.

The top 5 NOW (and as at August 2011)

1. Melbourne
2. Vienna
3. Vancouver
4. Toronto
5. Calgary

The small matter is that Adelaide are actually joint fifth now with Calgary, up from joint eighth position six years ago. The other point of interest for Australians is that Sydney, which was in sixth position six years ago, has now dropped out of the top 10 completely, whilst Perth has gone up one place to 7th.


Adelaide view by the Torrens riverAny of you who have read the comments on my page about Adelaide will know that it is probably the most ‘complained about’ city on this entire website. The biggest concern for most people is the lack of work opportunities. That is closely followed by the claim there is nothing to do.

So is nice to be able to give Adelaide not just one pat on the back today, but two. The first obviously for its great showing in this livability list, the second pat on the back comes from journalist Rob Goodman.

How a year in Adelaide opened my eyes

That was the title Rick gave to an article he wrote recently for The Advertiser. Rick, who was born in Melbourne and has also lived for one year in Sydney, moved to Adelaide about a year ago.

What did he think of it?

Well, I’ll provide you with a link direct to the article in a minute, so you can read everything he said about Adelaide for yourself. I’ll give you some of the highlights here though.

  • He had mixed feelings on arrival, the streets felt strangely sparse
  • The supermarkets closed too early
  • He didn’t know anybody

A year later though, he’d completely changed his mind.

  • He loved the madness of the Fringe Festival
  • He loved paying half the rent for twice a space
  • He began to love the quiet streets
  • He loved the ease with which he could get around the city, no more crawling in traffic
  • He loved the sense of community you don’t find in the bigger capitals
  • He realised he loved Adelaide

He gave a special thumbs up to all the small bars, the gigs he’d been to and the nightlife that he says has improved since Adelaide changed the liquor licensing laws a few years ago. Laws that have allowed around 70 new bars to pop up around the city.

As you probably know, with Sydney’s lockout laws and similar laws being introduced in Brisbane, nightlife in these two capitals is on the decline.

He says he thinks Adelaide is a city on the up, so for now, he’s staying.

Go Adelaide!

You can read Rick Goodman’s full article over at The Advertiser.

Here’s to Adelaide…

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Clare Marie Roche December 29, 2019, 3:05 am |

    Hi Bob. I have been reading your blog for several years now, absolutely joy to read. My husband and I along with our two children (10,8) have been granted our 489 state sponsorship visa to Adelaide (my husband finally passed the English test before they changed the 489 visa). I was just wondering if you or someone on here could point me in the right direction to forums, blogs or any other social networks tohelp us start talking to people in Adelaide.
    Kind Regards Clare

    • BobinOz January 2, 2020, 3:48 pm |

      Hi Claire and thanks for the kind words about my blog. Probably the most active forum is pomsinoz and they do have a dedicated section on South Australia, so worth a look.

      Check out my page about Adelaide as well, it does have quite a lively discussion in the comments and although some of it is a few years old, it’s still worth a quick skim through.

      Good luck, Bob

  • dr sabeen March 20, 2017, 10:38 am |

    Hi bob,i m MBBS doctor at pakistan.i have done my specialization in gynae and obstetrics.i have got a proposal for marriage from adelaide,which really suits me in so many perspectives.his take home salary is aus dollar 50k per annum.would it be sufficient for both of us until i get clear my exams and get a job

    • BobinOz March 20, 2017, 8:57 pm |

      It’s not a great salary, certainly below average, so it would depend on how carefully you watch your budget and how much of your outgoings are for accommodation and transport. Adelaide isn’t an expensive city though and I’m sure love will see you through 🙂

      Getting your paperwork sorted so you can practice in Australia may be quite tricky though, there are some interesting links that may help you with that on my page about Doctors in Australia.

    • Mark March 21, 2017, 6:13 am |

      As Bob has said Adelaide is not as expensive a city as some but just a rough calculation, your net pay per week after tax would be around 800 dollars. I always try to give people positive advice on here, Its a pretty hard call though saying you would be OK on that in fact I really think you would struggle by the time you have taken a low rent of say 300 and some electric gas and water will likely see over half of the 800 gone per week. food transport and general living, clothes etc could easily wipe the rest out. Despite wanting to be positive I think you would struggle and that is a recipe for things going wrong.

  • Gareth August 20, 2016, 10:30 am |

    Yes, I read that article, and there have been a few other big names move to Adelaide over the years because of the lifestyle it offers. Many of the negative comments I find come from people who have never been here, or came here in the 1980’s and think it hasn’t progressed. I still here the “bad water” comments and “nothing to do” comments, when in actual fact Adelaide is one big party town for four or five months of the year straight, with the Fringe, Womad, Tour Down Under, Clipsal, and many other cultural events, shows and experiences trough out the year.

    Adelaide is a warm welcoming city, and the state has much to offer people wanting to start a new life,and for people who are concerned about work, they really need to look at Adelaide for what is offers, not what they are suited too. If your back ground is in medical, administration, teaching, sport, or you want a small business, or you’re an entrepreneur, then Adelaide is the ideal state for you.

    Explore the state trough my on line avenues and make a decision based on facts and articles by reputable writers, I’m sure you will find Adelaide the place to be.

    • BobinOz August 21, 2016, 7:15 pm |

      Yes, I know firsthand how warm and welcoming Adelaide is from the one and only time I went there for a holiday. I found the people to be super friendly, you couldn’t stop in a street to have a look at a map without somebody also stopping to offer you help.

      There was another article today that mentioned Melbourne being top again, and also that Sydney historically does well, but pointed out that what this particular survey does not take into account at all is the cost of housing in these cities.

      It went on to point out that prices in both Sydney and Melbourne are ridiculously high and therefore neither of these cities is really very ‘liveable’ for the not so well off. House prices in Adelaide are far more reasonable, on that basis maybe the city should be even higher on the list.

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