For a record seven years, Melbourne has topped the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Index — but things have changed.
Vienna has dislodged the Victorian capital as the most pleasant city to live in.
The two cities have been neck-and-neck in the annual survey of 140 urban centres for years, and are separated by less than a point. Vienna scored 99.1 and Melbourne scored 98.4.
Melbourne has clinched the title for the past seven editions but a downgraded threat of militant attacks in western Europe, as well as the Austrian capital's low crime rate, helped nudge Vienna into first place.
"Both cities saw an improvement in their score this year. But Vienna's improvement was a bit more than Melbourne's so it just sneaked over the top to become number one," The Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Simon Baptist told ABC Radio Melbourne.
"Melbourne's score, [which was] already very high, improved a little bit in the availability of modern music and … Vienna's score improved because its crime rate fell.
"Because crime is weighted more highly in the survey… that is what allowed Vienna to tick over Melbourne."
Sydney was the second-highest Australian city, ranking fifth.
Vienna regularly tops a larger ranking of cities by quality of life compiled by consulting firm Mercer.
It is the first time it has topped the EIU's survey, which began in 2004.
What the Economist says:
"Although both Melbourne and Vienna have registered improvements in liveability over the last six months, increases in Vienna's ratings, particularly in the stability category, have been enough for the city to overtake Melbourne.
"The two cities are now separated by 0.7 of a percentage point, with Vienna scoring a near-ideal 99.1 out of 100 and Melbourne scoring 98.4."
The ten most liveable cities in 2018
- 1. Vienna, Austria
- 2. Melbourne, Australia
- 3. Osaka, Japan
- 4. Calgary, Canada
- 5. Sydney, Australia
- 6. Vancouver, Canada
- 7. Tokyo, Japan
- 8. Toronto, Canada
- 9. Copenhagen, Denmark
- 10. Adelaide, Australia
Source: ABC News