It may be hard to swallow, what with the cold, the dark, the metre-high snowdrifts and the commuter trains that don’t run, but Helsinki has again been ranked sixth in the global liveability survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The ranking of the Finnish capital is precisely the same as in 2010.

Vancouver in Canada sits at the top of the ranking list, the position that the city has held unshakeably since 2007.

In the survey, living conditions were assessed in 140 cities around the world. A rating of relative comfort for 30 indicators is assigned across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

Helsinki is the only Nordic country to rank among the world’s ten most liveable cities in 2011. The other world top cities are located in Canada, Australia, Austria, and New Zealand. Among the world’s metropolises, Paris was ranked in 16th place, New York in 56th, and Beijing in 72th. London moved up one place to 53rd. The highest-ranked Asian city was Osaka in 12th place, level with Geneva and beating out the Japanese capital Tokyo (18th). Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, is the lowest-scoring city in the list, ahead of Dhaka in Bangladesh. African and Asian nations tended to make up the bottom of the survey’s rankings.


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