Vancouver once again got top distinction as the world’s most livable city, while Harare, Zimbabwe was described as the toughest city to live in the world.
Canadian And Australian cities hold six of the top slots in the Economic Intelligence Unit’s global livability poll, which ranks 140 major cities in five factors: health care, stability, culture, environment, education and infrastructure.
Vancouver got a 98% rating with the report noting the challenges with petty crime, rise in triad activities and availability of affordable good quality housing. After Vancouver was Vienna, Melbourne, and Toronto then followed by Helsinki, Zurich and Sydney.
Most of the poorest performing locations were in Asia and Africa. Civil instability and poor infrastructure were considered to be very poor in these countries. The possibility of violence, demonstrations and civil unrest, or threat of foreign incursion were considered in the poorest performing countries.
The common belief is that Canada is getting richer and its people are living longer. But advanced ways of measuring the quality of life indicated that income distribution in Canada is increasingly flawed, and the health of the population has deteriorated, and the young people have seen their quality of life decline over the past 20 years. That is according to the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and the Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
The two groups are composed of social scientists who have been doing extensive research studies. Other findings indicate that over the past two decades, housing affordability diminished, income inequality intensified and job quality deteriorated.
Health and living standards are closely related. Prosperous people are usually healthy people, while low income earners are far less healthy. Young people aged 15-24 are said to being hit on both fronts, lower standard of living and poorer health.
The most cultured city in Canada is said to be Calgary, according to Canadian Council of Learning, followed by Victoria, Saskatoon, and Regina, all in Western Canada. A closer look showed that Victoria had the most readers, Calgary had the highest percentage of museum goers and more households in Saskatoon than anywhere else in Canada attended paid performing arts events.
When it comes to sports, hockey is Canada’s preferred sport. More than half of all household’s in Calgary, Ottawa, Victoria and Saskatoon spent money on sports and recreation.
Top international organizations have been quoting Canada as on of the countries that has been less affected than others by the global crisis. It can steer clear of recession by encouraging consumers and business spending by cutting taxes and improving access to financing.