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Calgary is the fifth most livable city in the world: report

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Calgary is ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world, receiving top marks in North America, according to a new report.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, unveiled its Global Liveability Index 2024 on Wednesday, slotting Calgary in as the fifth most livable city in the world – tied with Geneva, Switzerland.

Calgary was the top-ranked North American city, sitting above seventh-ranked Vancouver.

“I appreciate that we’ve been recognized globally,” Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said Thursday.

“We’ve got a thriving economy, a beautiful arts and culture sector — not to mention the sports. There’s just all kinds of things to love about this city.”

Gondek also pointed to the recent water crisis to show just how “together” the city really is.

“We have seen over the last three weeks Calgarians band together,” she said.

“When people live here, they understand they belong and that they’re part of community.”

The EIU’s report ranks the livability of 173 cities, based on results in stability, health care, culture and environment; education and infrastructure.

Each city is assigned a rating for more than 30 factors across the five categories.

“The concept of livability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions,” EIU said in the report.

Vienna, Austria (98.4), slotted into the top spot, followed by Copenhagen, Denmark (98.0); Zurich, Switzerland (97.1); and Melbourne, Australia (97.0).

“This year, Vienna once again got perfect scores of 100 for four of the five categories, although its score for culture and environment was a less-perfect 93.5, owing to a lack of major sporting events,” the report reads.

Calgary scored 96.8 on the index, with high scores across the five categories, including:

  • Stability: 100;
  • Health care: 100;
  • Culture and environment: 90;
  • Education: 100; and
  • Infrastructure: 96.4.

The high marks helped Calgary rise to fifth on the list, up from seventh in 2023.

“Calgary’s rank as the most livable city in North America is a testament to the high quality of life and the opportunity that exists in our city. We can see it in the record number of people moving to Calgary who come here to build a life and career,” Geraldine Anderson, the vice-president of marketing, communications, strategy and strategic alliances with Calgary Economic Development, said in a statement.

“We’re pleased to see Calgary rise in the ranks this year and to see the world take note of the exciting things happening in our city."

The report notes that infrastructure scores across Canada dropped this year due to the high rents and rising home purchase prices seen during the housing crisis.

The lowered infrastructure marks helped drop Toronto out of the top 10, down to 12 for 2024.

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