Commentary

Why liveability is key to economic recovery

Australasian cities are dominating liveability rankings, but affordability remains an issue

June 24, 2021

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released its Global Liveability Index 2021 earlier this month. Australasian cities dominated the Index, occupying six of the top 10 places. Auckland was ranked as the world’s most liveable city, with Adelaide (No.3), Wellington (No.4), Perth (No.6), Melbourne (No.8) and Brisbane (No.10) all in the top 10. 

Liveability is an important characteristic for a city, influencing individual wellbeing and community cohesion. A high liveability ranking can also provide a reputational advantage and is one of the ingredients making cities attractive for international migrants. 

Employability and affordability are also factors considered by migrants. Employability relates to a diverse range of employment opportunities in the city. For economic migrants, this can mean the potential to work for a national or multinational organisation.

However, Australasian cities face housing affordability challenges, with the Bloomberg Economics Bubble Ranking placing New Zealand at number 1 and Australia (surprisingly) only at number 15. 

The re-opening of international borders is expected to precipitate a wave of overseas migration into Australia and New Zealand. Oxford Economics projects Australia’s population will grow by 1.4 percent annually from 2023 to 2025, while New Zealand will increase by one percent annually over the same time period.