Adelaide has placed third in the list of the world’s most liveable cities for 2021. It’s been a good year for Australia and New Zealand in The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Index, with six of 2021’s top 10 most liveable cities in the world drawn from the region.

Adelaide has also taken the top spot from Melbourne as the most liveable city in Australia. This is Adelaide's highest ranking on the index since 2015 when it placed fifth and represents a seven-spot climb from a 10th place finish in 2019. The global index ranks 140 cities worldwide based on the five categories: stability, healthcare, education, culture and environment, and infrastructure.

While Auckland was recognised as the world’s most liveable city ahead of Japan’s Osaka, Wellington (4) and Tokyo (5) rounded out the top five, and Perth (6), Melbourne (8) and Brisbane (10) were the other Australian cities to make the top 10. Melbourne, which topped the rankings from 2011 to 2017, was relegated to joint-eighth. Adelaide received a perfect score for healthcare and education, as well as 96.4 for infrastructure, 95 for stability and 83.8 for culture and environment.

Hames Sharley managing director Caillin Howard and Michael Hegarty, CEO of Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP) weighed in on Adelaide’s brilliant performance in the global index.

Speaking about his hometown, Howard said Adelaide has “always done well” in the EIU’s index but it was particularly pleasing to see this continue despite the pandemic.

"These rankings can influence where highly skilled migrants choose to work," he said. "This most recent ranking means Adelaide is well placed to attract those workers, and subsequently benefit from the added economic and cultural vitality they bring with them."

"This title attracts new business and investments, boosts local economies and real estate markets and fosters community involvement and pride particularly in the workplace – and it's great for attracting talent.

"We are so proud of major developments that play a part in Adelaide's infrastructure, some of which include Adelaide Oval, North Terrace Cultural Precinct, Rundle Mall Plaza, Glenside Botanica Apartments and Bowden Apartments.”

Hegarty, who is also based in Adelaide, observed: “This isn’t something that arises by accident. Adelaide is a carefully designed city based from the outset on walkability distances and access to parks. We owe a great deal of the city design to William Light, who researched both European and Asian cities as models for Adelaide almost 200 years ago. These high-quality design interventions have continued over the years and are showcased today in the South Australian Architecture Awards.”

“The extent to which cities were sheltered by strong border closures, their ability to handle the health crisis and the pace at which they rolled out vaccination campaigns drove significant changes in the rankings,” he added.

According to Hegarty, initiatives taken by the South Australian Government in infrastructure for Adelaide over the years, including the O-Bahn high-speed bus route, Adelaide Oval redevelopment and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), have created a long-term benefit for the people of the city.

Top 10 most liveable cities in the world

  1. Auckland, New Zealand (96.0)
  2. Osaka, Japan (94.2)
  3. Adelaide, Australia (94.0)
  4. Wellington, New Zealand (93.7)
  5. Tokyo, Japan (93.7)
  6. Perth, Australia (93.3)
  7. Zurich, Switzerland (92.8)
  8. Geneva, Switzerland (92.5)
  9. Melbourne, Australia (92.5)
  10. Brisbane, Australia (92.4)