If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Turns out there’s a place that is objectively on the top of the list. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2021 Global Liveability Index, Auckland, New Zealand is the most liveable place on earth.
Why? Well, as a baseline, the ranking is due to its relative stability: New Zealand has a low level of corruption and is a functioning democracy with a popular prime minister, Jacinda Ardern. The roads, water, electricity, public transportation, and frankly, everything you need for basic confort is just good.
Then, there’s the temperate climate. The city is nestled among volcanic hills and surrounded by two different harbors, leading to an average high of 75 degree in January to 59 degree in August. (As cities around the world grapple with the climate crisis, this mild weather will also only likely grow in importance). There’s also ample public parks and green space.
Culture, too, plays an important part. There’s plenty to stimulate residents in the city, whether it’s a trip to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, whose extension collection includes works from European Old Masters and Oceania artists; taking in match at Eden Park’s rugby stadium; or perusing the Farmers’ Market in Matakana. Plus, Auckland is known for its excellent culinary scene, which focuses on local fare from lamb, to seafood, to Savignon Blancs, which are considered some of the best in the world.
But probably the biggest factor this year? The pandemic. The report attributes much of their first place ranking ‘to the city’s ability to contain the coronavirus pandemic faster and thus lift restrictions earlier, unlike others around the world.’ Whereas European cities were undergoing second – and in some case third – knockdowns throughout 2021, Auckland residents were able to go about life as almost – usual:taking their children to school, going to the movies, and drinking coffees at cafes.
In fact, six out of the report’s top ten best cities to live in the world were either in New Zealand or Australia, another country that enacted quick, early, and though coronavirus restrictions that paid off laters on.
Wondering which American city fared best? That would be Honolulu, Hawaii, which came in 14 thanks to their low COVID-19 rate and high percentage of vaccinated population, which lead to less strain on their healthcare system compared to other U.S. and European urban areas.
New Zealand, by the way, remains virus – free and hasn’t had a locally transmitted case since February. So go ahead, search some listings on Southey’s or Douglas Elliman, and fantasize about actually moving to one of the best cities to live in.