You’ll Never Guess these two Surprising US Cities Ranked Best for Living in and the Two Top World Cities for Livability


Deciding to move to a new city can be daunting, especially in a country like the US. So many states and cities to choose from. A reason often needed for moving is better jobs prospect and a better quality of living. We have found two surprising cities that always rank highly for both.

America is such a bountiful and large nation that we need to look at the most liveable city ranked from its own US city list. ranks more than 2,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 in partnership with The Initiative for Creativity and Innovation in Cities at New York University’s Schools of Professional Studies. 40 data points are used to determine the rankings and they are akin to the world ranking criteria for EIU and Mercer. (see criteria further down)

Madison, Wisconsin

Madison in the state of Wisconsin comes in the top ten over and over again. Tourists love to visit Madison’s State Street district and the city is listed as a top US music destination and foodie spot. In 2014 Madison came at a very respectable number five. The mayor Paul Soglin however wasn’t satisfied and convened a task force and asked each department head to make recommendations for how to place higher next time. It wasn’t just to gloat to other cities but his quest to build Madison into a more liveable place for its residents and help the city prosper well into the future. In an interview with Livability he said he would not rest until Madison scored number one. In 2015, Madison took out the number one spot.

Madison is the state capital and home to the great University of Wisconsin, a top US college. These two things bring stability and attract investment for population and economy. This is how smaller mid-size cities can outperform larger counterparts. Madison has good technology investment companies providing jobs and the research and development sector in Madison is excellent.

Infrastructure projects such as a better bus system and bicycle paths has made transport easier for the people of Madison. A great downtown area can be found in Madison and its being expanded to the residential neighborhoods. The downtown development included a lot of home construction and included affordable units for social housing. This brought both construction jobs and helped ease the tight vacancy rate.

Madison schools are good performers and getting better every year. The superintendent of the schools shows great enthusiasm for continuing the growing standard every year. Residents of Madison, Wisconsin should be very proud of their city and anyone looking to move to a prosperous and livable city should take a closer look.

Iowa City, Iowa

Home to the University of Iowa, this city is also in the top ten for US college towns. The hawkeye fans know that Iowa City is the best place to live and according to it ranks highly in their list every year. The city comes in at number two in 2017. Its also places a spot in the ‘Best cities for book lovers’. Combine that with a Saturday afternoon of football celebrating the black and gold with thousands of other Iowa City residents and you have a city that caters to all types.


Other factors besides, great book shops, great football and a top US college that gets Iowa City high on the list is healthcare and infrastructure. The city has a very high saturation of doctors and has the highest per capita transit rider-ship, according to

Iowa City residents are also extremely resilient. In 2008 a flood caused much economic and cultural damage. The Hancher Auditorium is being rebuilt still and an Art Museum and Children’s hospital is also under construction. But these buildings will only add to Iowa Cities fantastic livability when completed.

The famed Writers Workshop is held in Iowa City and UNESCO named the city one of only seven and the only North American ‘City of Literature’. The recreational spaces provided in the city are fantastic for tourists and residents. A park with a lake opened in 2013 and offers paddle-boards, kayaking, a lodge and other attractions.

And to add to all of these is the cities idea to build and develop co-working space to foster entrepreneurship, bring venture capital and building infrastructure to attract international students. So if you were thinking about packing up and moving to Iowa City for better quality of living, you better hurry, there is sure to be a long succession of new comers making their way for a better way of life.

The Two Top World Cities for Livability

Every year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) from The Economist releases a list of the worlds most liveable cities. The EIU index scores 140 of the worlds major cities in education, health, environment, stability, infrastructure and culture. This isn’t the only liveable list released each year, for example Mercers issues a report on the cities with the highest standard of living, which is very similar in criteria comparisons. The Economist’s survey originated as as a guide for corporations sending employee’s on overseas roles. The cities for this survey are ranked on weather, corruption, public transport, petty crime, censorship and the quality of both public and private education on offer.

There are some of the worlds best cities that time and time again appear on each of these lists. They may slip up and down a few places, or hold the number one position back to back, but they reappear somewhere in the top twenty every year. Five cities are stand-outs for repeat winning finishes. They always rank somewhere in the top twenty every year and have placed in the top five more than twice in the last decade. If you want to know the best cities in the world to live or visit then take a look at the cities named below.

Melbourne, Australia

For the last six years in a row Melbourne has come out number one in The Economists list. Melbourne is the fasting growing population in Australia and has an abundance of infrastructure projects on the go. The city is well known for its coffee and cafe culture, not to mention the amazing restaurant dining scene. Also in part of its DNA is Melbourne’s love of sport. The biggest sporting stadium (the MCG) and sporting precinct in Australia is in Melbourne. And this city is the only one in the world to have five international standard sporting facilities on the fringes of the city. And Melbournians always turn out in huge numbers for sporting events. The Australian Open tennis held in January every year, is one world class example. The sporting precinct is located on the city edge and can be a leisurely walk along the banks of the Yarra river from the CBD or a 5 minute tram ride.

The trams in Melbourne are both one of its charms and amazing public transport. The trams run from outer suburbs to the city and provide excellent transport infrastructure along with the trains. You don’t even need to have a ticket if travelling within the city from one point to another. The trains have also just been extended to a 24 hour weekend service, making the city nightlife easier to get home from.

The city night life is another recognized plus for Melbourne. Lots of little lane-way bars and clubs, hidden from the main street (so be sure to ask a local for some hidden treasures). There is a fantastic music scene and pubs with local and overseas top quality beer. Tourists and locals enjoy many festivals put on yearly and there is always something to do in the city.

Homes in Australia, particularly Melbourne are a mix of owner occupier and rentals. source


Some quirky facts about the city of Melbourne include;

  • The largest Greek population outside of Greece itself
  • The worlds largest stained glass ceiling – 51 metres (167.3 feet) long by 15 metres (49.2 feet) wide – at The National Gallery of Victoria
  • The first LGBT radio station in the world
  • Before being named Melbourne, it was named Batmania, (after John Batman who landed there in 1835)
  • The longest continuous Chinese settlement in the world, with Chinatown in the city founded in 1851, (the Victorian gold rush can be thanked for this)

Vienna, Austria


Vienna has come top eight years in a row on the Mercers list. This city is one of the greatest cities in Europe. Vienna is often under rated as a tourist destination. Of course there is tourists in the most touristy places like coach tours going to the Spanish Riding School or horse-drawn carriages being led along the cobbled streets in Old-town. But at the main museum ‘the Kunsthistorisches’, a beautifully grand neo-Renaissance palace holding art and culture, located just off the Ringstrasse, and you can walk in without waiting in a queue. The museum showcases one of the greatest collections of old masters in Europe – rivaling even the Louvre. Yet it only receives on tenth of the number of visitors which stream into the Louvre.

Perhaps there is something to a great cup of coffee? As with Melbourne, Vienna has a thriving cafe culture, in fact one could argue, Vienna is where cafe culture began. Its doubtful you could find the art of delicious hot chocolate and coffee served with amazing cakes performed better anywhere in the world. And if you like whipped cream, you have found your Mecca.

Vienna is home to Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven and to one of the worlds greatest orchestras – the Vienna Philharmonic. For more modern music lovers, Vienna is fast becoming home to some amazing rock festivals.

To find yourself moving effortlessly from one cultural icon to the next, Vienna has a wonderful public transport system. The metro serves suburbs and the red-and-white trams travel around the city. To see the beautiful buildings and architecture of Vienna, travelling by tram lets you take in every sight – the Steinway, the grand hotels, the Hofburg palace and some of the most imposing architecture of the 19th century. The most impressive being Burg Theatre, the neoclassical parliament and the awe inspiring neo-Renaissance domes of the Kunsthistorisches museum.

The quality of life in Vienna along with its grandeur places it over and over again as one of the top rated cities in the world. The social-democratic government has long invested in high quality social housing, which has resulted in Vienna being one of Europe’s most affordable. To live in a turn of the century 100sqm apartment in Vienna just 20 minutes walk from the city centre, costs $800US a month, compared to $2600US for a similar London apartment.

Vienna has the largest student population than any other German speaking city, making it home to plenty of clubs and youthful events. Petty crime and personal safety is low in Vienna which adds to its positive ranking criteria. Whilst Britain holiday makers overlook Vienna, American tourists travel often to this beautiful city.