ACT News

Canberra named the best place in the world...again

OECD rankings have yet again confirmed what many Canberrans have long known; that our city is the best place to live in the world. 

An expanded OECD report ranking regions has yet again confirmed what many locals have long known, finding that Canberra is the best place to live in the world.

Exercising around Lake Burley Griffin.
Exercising around Lake Burley Griffin. Photo: Tony Huynh

And the world is taking note.

A story on the The New York Times's new site The UpShot, titled "Want an easy life? Try Canberra", trumpeted the results from second report from the OECD, ranking 362 regions according to an increased nine measures of well-being from their 34 member countries.

If each topic, across access to broadband, education, income, jobs, environment, health, safety, housing and civic engagement is equally weighted then Canberra was found to be the top ranking "region" in terms of well-being worldwide.

In June the agency released a smaller data set of eight measures, which also gave the territory a perfect score on crime, average household disposable income, and voter turnout, and the top Australian rating.

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OECD rankings have yet again confirmed what many Canberrans have long known; that our city is the best place to live in the world. The data was collected from a number of different sources by the OECD from measurable indicators such as air quality indexes and education attainment levels in the labour force.

The newly added housing dimension was measured by the ratio of rooms per person - at 2.4 rooms a person in Canberra.

Canberra performed similarly to Western Norway, Sweden's Stockholm, New Hampshire in the US and British Columbia in Canada.

Other Australian states such as WA, Queensland and NSW also made the top ten in regional ranking along with Minnesota, New Hampshire and two regions in Norway.

Apart from all the good news, however, the report ranked Australia at 25 out of the OECD's 34 countries on education, behind Chile, Hungary and Slovenia, saying there were "concerning inequalities" across the country.

The agency also found Australia has some of the highest regional inequality in household income.

This is not the capital's first appearance in the prestigious newspaper's pages this year. In June a travel profile said "what the "bush capital" lacks in big-city tousle, it makes up for in big-sky beauty, breezy civic pride and a decidedly hipster underbelly".

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said she thought the latest New York Times article added "weight to the argument that Canberra is one of the most livable cities in the world".

She said living in the city could make locals take the "amenity and quality of the environment" for granted.

"It is nice to be reminded sometimes that Canberra has a lot of positive characteristics and when you rank us against other cities in the world that we come out really strongly," Ms Gallagher said.

Federal Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, was more dramatic saying the new figures confirmed "that Canberra is the best city to live in on earth".

While many in Canberra have reacted with an "I told you so" pride to the news, debate has broken up among Australians living abroad.

Australian economist based in Washington D.C., Justin Wolfers, sent off this kick in the teeth via Twitter:

Others, such as Canberran expat Kate Crawford were more charitable:

But it seems like the locals are taking little notice of the jives and enjoying their day in the sun:

The poll found that across the 362 regions in their member states, poorer regions were increasingly falling behind richer ones.

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