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Manchester placed ahead of London in annual global liveability rankings

Published 18/08/2016

Manchester town hall, as the city improved its ranking
Manchester town hall, as the city improved its ranking

Manchester is a better place to live than London, according to annual rankings of cities around the globe.

The capital held its place as the 53rd most liveable city in the world, but was 10 places behind Manchester, due to the increased threat of terrorism and petty crime in London.

The northern city, cradle of the Industrial Revolution, was placed above San Francisco and Seattle.

London was behind Iceland's capital and fishing hub, Reykjavik.

Across the world, Melbourne remained the most liveable city, followed by Vienna, with the worst place being Syria's war-torn capital, Damascus.

The annual Global Liveability Ranking by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIUn) provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide.

Despite the 10 places between the two cities, the only UK ones surveyed, just 1.6% separates London's "liveability" score of 87.2 from Manchester's of 88.8. Dublin beat both cities with a score of 89.5 and was ranked at number 40 globally.

Though London has more cultural attractions and a more robust infrastructure compared with Manchester, London's lower score reflects the perceived higher risk from terrorism and crime.

Neither city's scores changed this year from last, but Manchester improved its ranking as other European cities "liveability" fell due to terror and political and economic instability.

Jon Copestake, editor of the report, said: "It is difficult to argue that one city is 'better' than another but it can be argued that Manchester has marginally fewer obstacles to people's lifestyle because the threat of terrorism and petty crime is higher in London.

"However, it will be interesting to see if this changes following the recent Brexit vote which has created a sense of political and economic uncertainty and could see foreign investment suffer in both cities."

Eight of the top 10 most liveable cities are in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, with only Helsinki and Hamburg in Europe in the top 10.

The survey attempts to quantify the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in each of the cities surveyed.

Each city is assigned a score for more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

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