German cities soar through rankings in latest World Liveability Index

German cities soar through rankings in latest World Liveability Index

The rollback of COVID-19 restrictions across the world has enabled European cities to rise to the top again in the latest Global Liveability Index - and three German cities have seen their ranking climb particularly sharply. 

Vienna reclaims crown as world’s most liveable city

Vienna has retaken its crown as the world’s most liveable city in the latest index by The Economist, a ranking of 172 cities worldwide according to their “liveability” - a score that covers a number of factors across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. 

The Austrian capital had claimed the title in 2018 and 2019 but slipped in the rankings in 2021 when museums and restaurants were closed as part of measures to control coronavirus. This year, however, with the pandemic receding, scores have improved virtually across the board and the index has “normalised”, according to The Economist. Vienna unseated New Zealand’s Auckland in the top spot, with the latter falling to 34th position. 

This year, the ranking is once again dominated by Western European and Canadian cities, whose scores broadly rose as life returned almost back to normal after being under lockdown restrictions last year. 

On the other hand, the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced The Economist to exclude Kiev from the survey, while the conflict has influenced rankings for Moscow and St Petersburg, whose scores fell due to higher instability and censorship, and the impact of western sanctions. Eastern European also cities slipped in the rankings due to “increased geopolitical risks.” 

German cities rise through the rankings, Frankfurt on top

After being some of the biggest losers last year, German cities recorded some of the biggest rises this year. Frankfurt comes out on top, climbing an impressive 32 places to claim seventh position overall, making it the only German city to rank inside the top 10 most liveable places in the world. 

Hamburg rose 31 places to claim 16th position, and Düsseldorf rose 28 places to place just outside the top 20 in 22nd place. Big wins were also recorded by London, which rose 27 places, Manchester (26 places) and Paris (23 places). 

The most liveable cities in the world 2022

Overall, the top 10 most liveable cities in 2022 according to The Economist are:

And the least liveable cities are:

  • 163. Tehran, Iran
  • 164. Douala, Cameroon
  • 165. Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 166. Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 167. Port Moresby, PNG
  • 168. Karachi, Pakistan
  • 169. Algiers, Algeria
  • 170. Tripoli, Libya
  • 171. Lagos, Nigeria
  • 172. Damascus, Syria

For more information on the ranking, including a detailed breakdown of the scores, visit The Economist’s website



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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