Manchester has risen 26 places in this year’s Global Liveability Index, making it the top most liveable city in the UK and 28th across the globe.
Every year, The Economist releases its rankings of the most liveable cities in the world, and this year’s list included 172 cities in total – up from 140 last year. It assesses 30 different factors in detail to define which cities are the top performers and which ones fall short.
This year, the north-west city of Manchester has had a stellar performance, climbing an impressive 26 places compared with last year as the report noted its particular excellence in leisure and retail throughout the pandemic, among other strengths.
It is ahead of the capital city of London, placed 33rd in the world, as well as other major cities including Barcelona, Los Angeles, Perth and Milan.
Vienna in Austria was ranked number one in the Global Liveability Index, which is its third time in the top spot in the past five years. In second position was Copenhagen in Denmark, followed by Zurich in Switzerland in third place and Calgary, Canada in fourth position.
Big ambitions for Manchester
Commenting on Manchester’s top rating, Council Leader Bev Craig said: “I’m proud that Manchester is the highest ranked UK city. It’s great to see this respected survey recognise what we already know – that Manchester is a great place to be. A vibrant, creative, energetic and ambitious city that puts residents at its heart.
“But Manchester’s ambition doesn’t stop there. We are determined to become a top-flight world city and this analysis suggests we are making strong progress.
“This is a brilliant city to live in, work in or visit but our goal is to make it even better – an exciting and innovative place where everyone can thrive and share in that success. We are proudly taking our place on a world stage and will strive to improve further.”
The Index scores cities based on five main categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. The past two years have also taken account of post-Covid recovery, for which Manchester has proven especially strong.
Vienna scored an impressive 99.1 this year. Overall, the global average liveability score for 2022 was 73.6, which was up from last year’s 69.1 and shows a general improvement in the comfort of living since Covid struck. Pre-pandemic, the average score was 75.9.
The people’s choice
Manchester is renowned as one of the UK’s most important cities economically, alongside London and Birmingham. With top-class universities, ample employment opportunities and a thriving housing market, the city continues to grow and improve through regeneration and investment.
Late last year, Manchester was the recipient of another accolade: it was named the third best city in the world in a list compiled by Time Out, which surveyed 27,000 people. It took into account factors such as nightlife, restaurants and cultural highlights.
In particular, the city was praised for its sense of community, its environmental initiatives, its commitment to activism and its general friendliness.
It was the only British city to appear in Time Out’s top 10 list, ahead of London in 13th position. The 10 best cities were as follows:
1. San Francisco, California, US
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. Manchester, UK
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
5. New York, USA
6. Montreal, Canada
7. Prague, Czech Republic
8. Tel Aviv, Israel
9. Porto, Portugal
10. Tokyo, Japan
Property investment in the north west
From a property investment perspective, Manchester remains one of the UK’s most investable locations, and this will be further strengthened by The Economist’s latest findings.
In terms of rental yields, the city is continually marked out alongside Liverpool for landlords achieving top rental returns. Fleet Mortgages recently revealed that average yields in the north west are around 6.7%, led by the two cities.
Property investors who have selected stock in Manchester in recent years have also seen some of the biggest gains thanks to capital appreciation, according to recent reports. Over the past year, according to Zoopla, prices have risen there by an average of 9.5%.