Manchester city centre

Manchester better place to live than London, says Economist

The Economist Intelligence Unit's latest 'liveability survey' has placed Manchester 46th best city in the world to call home, the only UK city in the top 50.

The survey places London 51st in the top tier of places to live. Vancouver remains top of the league table, benefiting from strong Canadian infrastructure, the survey said, and Harare sits at the bottom thanks to the unfolding crisis in Zimbabwe.

Jon Copestake, editor of the report, commented: "London and Manchester both benefit from the attractions that a big city offers, but also suffer from the problems that can be faced such as crime, the threat of terrorist attacks and overloaded transport infrastructure."

The Economist Intelligence Unit's survey assesses living conditions in 140 cities around the world by assigning a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.

Vienna (Austria) is ranked second, followed by Melbourne (Australia) in third place. Toronto (Canada) has seen a slight improvement in its index, bringing it up to fourth place, from sixth previously. Canadian and Australian cities account for six of the top ten, with Vienna, Helsinki (Finland), Zurich and Geneva (both Switzerland) making up the most liveable destinations surveyed. Cities that score best tend to be mid-sized, in developed countries with a low population density, benefiting from cultural or recreational availability but with lower crime levels or infrastructure problems that can be caused by large populations.

Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Midas, Manchester's inward investment agency, said: "The ranking confirms Manchester's burgeoning status on the national and international stage but no-one involved in the promotion of the City Region is complacent and we are working even harder at MIDAS in the recession to attract national and international investment whilst supporting those international businesses that have already chosen Manchester as their home."

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