Vancouver and Melbourne voted best cities to live in the world

Ruth Doherty

There must something truly special about living in Vancouver, because it's topped the list of the best cities in the world to live - for the fifth year running.

Melbourne was snapping at its heels in second place, stealing silver from Vienna in Austria.

Australian and Canadian cities dominated the top spots, while London limped in a at a paltry 53rd place - well, it's one step up from last year!

In the annual survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Vancouver (the 2010 Winter Olympics host) scored 98 percent on a combination of stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure - a score unchanged from last year.

"Mid-sized cities in developed countries with relatively low population densities tend to score well by having all the cultural and infrastructural benefits on offer with fewer problems related to crime or congestion," said Jon Copestake, editor of the report.

Auckland in New Zealand snapped up 10th place, while Paris parked itself at 16th.

Pittsburgh was the top US city with 29th place - just ahead of Honolulu - while Los Angeles moved up three places to 44th and New York held onto the 56th spot.

The top Asian city was Osaka at number 12, tying Geneva, Switzerland and beating the Japanese capital of Tokyo, which came in at 18.

Hong Kong came in at 31 but Beijing, capital of the world's most populous nation and No. 2 economy, wallowed at 72.

There was also little change at the bottom, with Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, once again claiming the worst position with a rating of 37.5 percent, narrowly beating the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka.

The Economist Intelligence Unit survey ranks cities based on 30 factors such as healthcare, culture and environment, and education and personal safety.

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