Four Australian Cities Have Ranked in the Top 30 on the First-Ever Oxford Economics Global Index

Melbourne came in at ninth spot, Sydney is in 16th, Perth ranked 23rd and Brisbane sits in 27th place — out of 1000 cities around the planet.
Sarah Ward
Published on May 23, 2024

Whether focused on steak joints, restaurants in general, bars, hotels, beaches or places to travel to, there's no shortage of rankings proclaiming the standout spots to spend your time, or just to live overall. Another one seems to pop up almost daily. In fact, one more has just joined the ever-growing array, and it's a hefty addition, with the first-ever Oxford Economics Global Cities Index naming the top 1000 cities worldwide.

Use it as a must-visit list, a guide if you're thinking about a big move or to add fuel to one of Australia's enduring pastimes: arguing over which Aussie city tops the rest. According to the index, Melbourne earns the honours this time, coming in ninth globally. But just as the Melbourne-versus-Sydney debate starts firing up again, the latter didn't do badly at all, sitting in 16th.

Australia has six cities in the top 51, with Perth ranking 23rd, Brisbane in 27th place, Canberra taking out 44th and Adelaide just missing the top 50. The nation scored seven cities in the top 100 and also in the full 1000, thanks to the Gold Coast placing 81st.

To make its selections among the planet's largest 1000 largest cities — which you'll find in 163 different countries — Oxford Economics looked at five broad factors: economics, human capital, quality of life, environment and governance. It also outlined a top ten for each category, with Down Under spots earning some more love there.

While no Aussie cities placed in the top ten for economics, environment or governance, Sydney came eighth in human capital, which considers educational attainment, universities, population growth, age profiles, the diversity of the population and corporate headquarters among its indicators.

The second-best place in the world for quality of life, which takes into consideration life expectancy, income per person, income equality, housing expenditure, recreation and cultural sites, and internet speed? Canberra, the only Australian city in the top ten there. The Gold Coast placed 95th, Perth 135th, Brisbane 146th, Adelaide 152nd, Melbourne 185th and Sydney 230th.

Over in New Zealand, Auckland placed highest at 59th on the complete list of 1000, followed by Wellington at 69th and Christchurch at 87th. All three ranked NZ cities also earned a position in the environment top ten (which covers air quality, emissions intensity, natural disasters, and temperature and rainfall anomalies) and took out the three top spots in the governance top ten (where institutions, political stability, business environment and civil liberties are assessed).

Back to the overall rundown, New York emerged victorious over the other 999 cities in the index, followed by London in second. Returning to the US, San Jose came in third. After Tokyo in fourth and Paris in fifth, the next three places were again American cities, with Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco receiving the nod. And rounding out the top ten after Melbourne is Zurich.

For more information about the Oxford Economics Global Cities Index for 2024, head to the organisation's website.

Published on May 23, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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