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Adelaide is Australia’s most liveable city, Darwin the least


Adelaide is Australia’s most liveable city, Darwin the least

For three years running, Adelaide is Australia’s most liveable city.

Adelaide the most ‘liveable’ city in Australia

Australian cities consistently rank highly internationally for their liveability, opportunity and beauty.  But how do they compare in an Australian context?  As part of the Property Council of Australia’s annual ‘My City: The People’s Verdict 2012’ report, the ‘liveability’ of Australia’s eleven largest cities is measured from the perspective of people who live in them.  For the third consecutive year, the South Australian capital of Adelaide has been deemed the coveted ‘most liveable city in Australia.’

These types of reports are useful for benchmarking capital cities against each other on a range of indicators (like quality affordable housing and cost of living), but they stand to remain contentious, since different sets of indicators invariably bring back different results. While “Australia’s Best City” aims to highlight this ‘individual preference’ allowing users to browse the things that are important to them, these reports nonetheless remain important, especially when combined with other, more quantitative, indicators.

Why does Adelaide perform well?

In the 2013 report, Adelaide ranked particularly well among residents responding to the cost of living, having a range of quality affordable housing and being a clean, well maintained and unpolluted city.  It also ranked well for having good health care and a seemingly good approach to environmental sustainability and climate change.  In contrast, Adelaide performed poorly in terms of employment and economic opportunities, public transport and comprising a vibrant (and perhaps consistent i.e. ‘Mad March’) cultural and entertainment scene.




graph liveability


It’s not the first time Adelaide has been considered a serious contender in the race for most liveable city, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott agreeing, adding that the city has ‘great people, a great climate, terrific restaurants, art and culture’ at the South Australian Liberal Party’s annual meeting in October 2013.[1]

Residents of Darwin, which ranked as the least liveable Australian city, were concerned with the city’s affordability, range of affordable housing and its healthcare services but scored it well in response to traffic congestion, employment opportunities and social cohesion.

The country’s two largest cities – Melbourne and Sydney – ranked seventh and tenth respectively, both struggling with traffic congestion and supplies of quality affordable housing among other factors.

What do you think are the important ingredients for creating the most liveable city in Australia?  Try creating a custom city report card and see which Australian city would be the best fit for you.

[1] As reported by ‘’ on 19 October 2013 <>

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