Leith van Onselen
The Economist’s ‘Most Liveable City’ must surely rank near the top of all the stupid ‘awards’ handed out.
The Economist Intelligence Unit assesses the Global Liveability Ranking yearly, and in 2023 the index ranked 173 cities based on “over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors” across five categories – stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
However, the ranking does not assess liveability for a city’s residents. Rather it measures liveability from the perspective of expat executives who get their housing, travel, and all of their expenses paid for by an international firm.
Therefore, the ‘Most Liveable City’ label is next to useless for actual residents of a city.
Nevertheless, the 2023 Global Liveability Rankings have been released with Melbourne ranking highest among Australian cities and third overall:
Victorian Premier, Dan Andrews, quickly jumped on the results to throw shade at his interstate rivals, in particular Sydney.
“Melbourne’s back, Victoria’s back. When you think about major events, food, wine, medical research”, Andrews said on Thursday.
“In every field, whether it’s critical thinking, discovery, all those creative industries, great experiences, Melbourne and Victoria, there’s nowhere else like it”.
“This is the centre of so many things that are important, and this is in every respect the real capital of our nation”.
An objective analysis would rank Brisbane the nation’s ‘most liveable’ city.
Why? Because Australians are moving to Brisbane in droves, mostly from Melbourne and Sydney.
The next chart shows net internal migration over the pandemic, with Queensland receiving more than 100,000 residents from other states of Australia between March 2020 and September 2022:
In a similar vein, Brisbane gained 43,100 residents from internal migration in the two financial years to 2022, whereas Sydney (-86,600) and Melbourne (-59,700) both lost large numbers of residents to other areas of Australia:
This surely makes Brisbane Australia’s ‘most liveable city’?