Thu. Feb 2nd, 2023

Montreal is better than the United States, but worse than the rest of Canada, according to an analysis conducted by The Economist’s affiliate, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Its Global Liveability Index, released in June, ranks cities based on a multitude of factors, including purportedly quantitative measurements of education, environment, health care, infrastructure and culture.

This year, the result of these inscrutable calculations is a top ranking for Western Europe, the region with the highest average liveability score, according to The Economist. North America as a region came in second place, with Canadian cities topping the list. Try to guess which one is the best before reading on.

Did you guess Toronto or Vancouver? Nope, they’re second and third, respectively. The highest-ranked, most liveable city in North America is Calgary. Calgarians rejoice, the rest of us may squint quietly at this list and keep our thoughts to ourselves.

Montreal ranked a very respectable fourth in North America, ahead of every American city – the only other country included in the North American ranking.

The study didn’t include Mexico in its analysis, but it does include occupied Hawaii, whose capital Honolulu ranked high at number seven, even as overtourism threatens infrastructure and the natural environment on the islands.

Apparently, the most liveable American city is Atlanta, which absolutely crushed New York. NYC sits in the 21st spot on the North America list due to weak ratings on infrastructure and stability, The Economist says.

The Economist notes that “when it comes to liveability, it seems the further north you go the better,” without necessarily addressing why that might be the case. But if you’re a new Montrealer looking for research to back up your move, The Economist can confirm that you’re in the right place.

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