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Brussels drops five places in 'liveable city' index

14:43 07/07/2024

Brussels is not as “liveable” in 2024 as it was last year, according to British magazine The Economist’s ranking of the world’s most liveable cities.

The Belgian capital dropped five places, from 30th to 35th, out of 173 in the Economist’s global liveability index 2024. It also came seventh in the top 10 "biggest movers down the rankings" list.

Brussels is however judged a very agreeable place to live, with an overall score of 91.4 out of 100. The loss in popularity this year is caused by reduced stability, notably due to the demonstrations and strikes concerning the energy crisis, cost of living, climate crisis and farmers’ working conditions.

The ranking looks at five factors: stability (25% of the total); healthcare (20%); culture and the environment (25%); education (10%) and infrastructure (20%) to determine how liveable the 173 cities are.

Western Europe remained the best performing region for liveability, coming top in four categories. Second-placed North America was best for education in the survey conducted between 12 February and 17 March 2024. Meanwhile Hong Kong rose most in the list – by 11 places – due to receiving good scores in stability and healthcare.

The 30 western European cities in this year’s ranking reported an impressive average score of 92 out of 100. But the overall score slipped since last year, “owing to a deterioration in the stability category, amid increasing instances of disruptive protests (such as in Germany, Ireland and Belgium),” states The Economist’s summary report.

In general, the stability category caused the biggest drop in popularity throughout Europe, notably for five German cities. The Israel-Hamas conflict that started on 6 October 2023, pulled Tel Aviv (Israel) down by 20 places to be the top faller in this year’s index.

Meanwhile the most liveable city, for the third year running, was Vienna. The Austrian capital achieved a perfect score of 100 in four out of the five categories. It scored slightly less - 93.5 - for culture and environment, due to its lack of major sporting events.

And at the bottom of the list, Damascus, Syria is the city where people would want to settle the least, with Tripoli, Libya just one place above the Syrian capital.

In both countries, following years of civil war, the economies have been destroyed, stability is very low and there has been no improvement in liveability. The continuing war between Russia and Ukraine has also continued to keep the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in the bottom 10.

Overall, the average score out of 100 in the survey has increased to 76.1, almost the same as for last year but three more than for 2022. But this improvement is only marginal, held back by geopolitical conflicts, civil unrest and severe accommodation shortages across many of the cities.

The survey results also show that this acute housing crisis pulled down the infrastructure scores of some of the top-ranked cities. Melbourne and Sydney (Australia) and Vancouver (Canada) lost popularity, but remain in the top 10 liveable cities list, while Toronto, Canada is no longer in the top flight.

Written by Liz Newmark



No wonder... the amount of garbage everywhere makes Brussels a city like we are in a third world country. It's disgusting!

Jul 14, 2024 00:36