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Overseas Health Insurance News: Melbourne retains world's most liveable city status

The Australian city of Melbourne has retained its position at the top of a list of the most liveable cities in the world.

People contemplating becoming expatriates would be wise to look at the Economist Intelligent Unit's (EIU) Global Liveability Survey.

This year's rankings are largely unchanged from those of 2012 with Australian, New Zealand and Canadian cities continuing to do well.

In fact Antipodean destinations made up five of the top ten spots, while Canada saw three of its metropolises make it into the list.

After Melbourne, Austria's capital Vienna came in at number two, with Vancouver and Toronto taking the third and fourth spots and Calgary and Adelaide rounding off the top five in joint fifth place.

Cities that did well were those of medium size in relatively wealthy countries where the population density is low.

Geoffrey Conaghan, agent-general for the Victorian government in Britain, said: "We feel immensely proud that Australia’s fastest growing city has again been recognised as the most liveable city in the world."

According to the EIU report, civil unrest, European austerity and Chinese discontent led to 28 countries changing their positions for the worst.

Stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure were the five categories used to evaluate the 140 cities in the survey.

The ongoing civil conflict in Syria saw Damascus drop ten places to the bottom of the list.

Jon Copestake, editor of the survey, said: "While the threat of terror had a defining influence on liveability in the last decade, we can clearly see that civil unrest has already had a significant impact on liveability in this decade."

Other major changes in the rankings included Madrid falling by five spots to number 44, due to unrest and protests. Despite this the Spanish capital remains in the top tier for liveability.

Bratislava in Slovakia ameliorated its position, moving up to 63rd place and putting it in the category of receiving a score of 80 or more out of 100.

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