Canadian cities that typically score high have fallen in a report that analyzes global livability.
The report, which was conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), points to the COVID-19 second wave as a primary factor behind the drop, with restrictions forcing cultural and sporting events to shut down.
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The EIU monitors data for 140 different countries. The variables they measure include general stability, healthcare, education, culture, and the environment.
According to the EIU, healthcare scores fell for most cities globally when the pandemic began.
Montreal found itself on a list of the biggest movers down, falling by 19 rankings.
Auckland now ranks first as the most livable city in the world at 96.0, and Western Europe ranked first when looking at the overall index of larger continental regions, at 83.6. North America followed close at an overall index of 83.4.
“The cities that have risen to the top of the rankings this year are largely the ones that have taken stringent measures to contain the pandemic. The tough lockdown and tight border controls imposed by Asia-Pacific countries such as New Zealand and Australia allowed their cities to re-open earlier and enabled residents to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life,” according to Upasana Dutt, Head of Global Liveability at The Economist Intelligence Unit.
American cities like Honolulu and Houston have started to see a bounce back in the last 6 months, as restrictions have started to ease up.
As cities across Canada also slowly begin easing restrictions, it remains to be seen if a similar resurgence is in store.
The data used in the report was gathered between February and March of 2021.
The full report can be found here.