Manchester England

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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Statistics, surveys and studies which are true and which are false? But looking good for both our great Cities.

By The Professor

What if you’re a middle-class PNW reader and already have access to education and healthcare and take social and political stablity for granted… factors which would be pretty similar wherever you go? You’re more likely to want a desirable urban realm, open parkland, history and heritage and a thriving cultural scene – it would be a lie to say Manchester is ahead of smaller cities like Liverpool, Bristol, Bath, Newcastle, Edinburgh or most of the others for this. Pretty meaningless on an individual scale.

By Silly

Manchester is undeniably a great city but I don’t know one person who currently lives there for reasons other than that is where the jobs are.

By Anonymous

You don;t know that many people then anon, I live there because of the nightlife and the amazing music scene, no countryside for me. Students don’t go there for jobs. Gay people go there for that scene too. There are many reasons.

By Welshie

These surveys are all subjective but Manchester really is a good prospect now as a place to live and start your career. Years ago it was looked down upon if you graduated and wanted to move to Manchester to work, more and more it feels like that now applies to London.

By Derek

Some sad bitter people on here, it’s a good news story but people from outside of Manchester just can’t have it can they?

By Anonymous

Anon, there are 2.8m people living in Greater Manchester. I’m sure you know most of these people personally, however I suspect there are some who have been born and raised in Manchester, and enjoy living here despite the job opportunities.

By Edge

As expected, some odd comments…
Plenty of history, culture, jobs, transport infrastructure, tram networks into the ‘burbs, airport servicing the world, Peak District/Pennines on the doorstep, Parks, canals, it’s all there and affordable. You can even ski and skydive :-)

By Anon

The Economist didn’t include Liverpool, as it’s an index of alpha and beta cities. If it had, then Liverpool should in theory be higher. Although Manchester is clearly improving. About time Liverpool did too?

The big question though is, where is Birmingham?

By Mike

So realistically Liverpool should have come out top if it was included

By Ken

Viva Ronaldo

By In the Know

Mike, @1257.
“The Economist didn’t include Liverpool, as it’s an index of alpha and beta cities. If it had, then Liverpool should in theory be higher. Although Manchester is clearly improving. About time Liverpool did too?”
But if as you say, Liverpool would be above Manchester anyway, I don’t understand your disparaging comment about Liverpool

By Michael

If were including small cities clearly Chester and Lancaster would top the NW, not Liverpool.

By Welshie

I’m so proud of my city.

By a

London and New York are the only truly world cities. The huge problem for all our regional cities is their artificial smallness.Even in our economic heyday of the industrial revolution neither Liverpool or Manchester reached one million inhabitants. Despite great wealth and power all over Britain only London was allowed to grow without restrictions by including vast areas of the Home Counties within its borders. Liverpool and Manchester were contained and the towns around them were not incorporated into either city.This is why we have never had a counterbalance city to London. A cynic would say that this was deliberate. If investment from Central government is considered then I think the cynic is right. Liverpool not being on the HS2 network is a stark example of this. Glasgow the so called second city of the empire was eight times smaller than London, even at its peak.

By Elephant

Elephant – not visited Paris, Rome or Tokyo (amongst others) then, hilarious.

By Derek

Small fish in small ponds, I agree with Elephant!

By Zzzzzzzz

Elephant. Clearly you are unaware of the size, capacity, hinterland and influence of cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, as well as Vienna and the criteria which are applied in this particular judgement.
It is also completely irrelevant about the populations of Manchester and Liverpool in their “heyday” as the global and national populations were much lower anyway.
This is a livability assessment and takes many factors into consideration. I have visited many of the cities in the top 10 and would far rather live their than either London or New York. My personal choice clearly.

By Michael

That does not alter the fact that the only two official world cities are New York and London.Derek I get your point and I have visited those cities but the way this is categorised London and New York are the two which are separated from the rest as world cities.rLook at the website which explains how cities are measured before poo pooing my comment.Michael you are correct about it being a liveability study but people were asking where were Liverpool and Birmingham? I was trying to give a theory as to why we seem to have so few British cities in surveys like these.

By Elephant

It’s great that Manchester is doing well, and long may it continue. But the league table is completely pointless because it’s based upon the weighting of some largely subjective and highly selected criteria, not least of which is the decision to exclude many smaller and more likeable cities. But even so; well done Manchester; it’s a helluva lot better than it used to be.

By Moomo

In answer to both Derek and Michael.The criteria from which these conclusions are drawn separate New York and London as the two world cities.I would have put Tokyo and Paris with those two.Tokyo,Paris and Rome are in lower groups.There is an article in the Telegraph about this in which Manchester is never mentioned once which is about right really for the London press.In that article there is a question about why London did so badly but not why Manchester seemingly did so well.A whole article which totally ignores Manchester’s renaissance.

By Elephant

That’s a relief. There are over 5000 apartments being delivered to the city over the next 12 months!

By Developers

@Michael not disparaging of Liverpool, only of the way it has been allowed to stagnate. Quality of Life is/was a key USP for the great city, but while Manchester’s authorities see their QoL challenge and are working on it, rather than Liverpool’s lot improving – and I say this as a resident – it has been sent backwards in recent years.

This isn’t a matter of funding, but of focus and effort, and of not doing things which are negative to QoL. Notably, things like minimum alcohol pricing have been quietly dropped, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Manchester introduced this first. This says a lot about who matters in Liverpool right now, and who doesn’t.

The other factors feeding QoL all similarly relate to how attractive or unattractive a place is to people who can afford to move. Jobs, education, public spaces, quality of environment, transport and so on, they are all mutually dependent on each other. There is no sign Liverpool is getting any of this right, and city region level can only overcome so much of that.

It’s a shame that Liverpool isn’t measured more on this versus Manchester, as perhaps that might give the underlying issues the popular visibility needed (to get the people to boot out those responsible, and get people in to start fixing what’s left behind).

By Mike