Manchester still UK’s most liveable city, says The Economist

Manchester has retained its place as the UK’s most liveable city and was the fastest-rising European city in The Economist’s Global Liveability Index, with the city now 13 spots ahead of London in 35th place.

The survey, which has been conducted annually since the 1990s, measures a range of factors including crime, education, access to healthcare, and social and political stability.

Alongside Paris, Manchester was the fastest-rising city in the Index, rising 16 places to 35, ahead of London in 48th place out of the 140 cities measured worldwide.

This is the widest gap between the two cities since the survey began in the 1990s, although Manchester’s ranking declined in the last year’s index following the Manchester Arena attack. The city was also ranked ahead of London in last year’s survey.

The Economist Intelligence Unit said Manchester’s improved score was down to an improved security score, and added the city offers “marginally fewer obstacles to people’s lifestyle, and the threat of terrorism and petty crime are lower” compared to the capital. London was said to “suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion, and public transport problems than are deemed comfortable”.

Globally, Vienna was ranked as the most liveable city, followed by Melbourne; the least liveable was Damascus in Syria followed by Dhaka in Bangladesh.

The Economist’s data is somewhat at odds with research from May this year, carried out by Your Housing Group, which ranked Manchester below Liverpool in its Northern Powerhouse Liveability Index.

The research placed the Liverpool local authority comfortably ahead of Manchester with a liveability score of 398, compared with Manchester’s 368. Liverpool was also marked ahead of Manchester for its affordability. Certain areas of Manchester and Liverpool were also identified as “liveability blackspots” with Oldham and Knowsley both singled out as “being most difficult to live in for average earners”.

Your Housing Group’s index covered four areas: affordability, opportunity, desirability, and availability. South Lakeland was ranked as the region’s most liveable place, followed by Fylde, Ribble Valley, South Ribble, and Copeland.

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