Index Says World Living Standards Improved For The First Time In 10 Years

According to report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit on Wednesday, global livability is finally showing some telltale signs of an improvement after 10 years of back-to-back slumps. But, continuing to threaten world living standards is the continued threat of terrorism that includes several high-profile attacks in Europe, said a EIU statement on the report.

The statement further said that due to a combination of economic and political risks, the average livability score worldwide has fallen to the present day rate of 74.8 percent from 76.1 percent in 2007. Recording a slight improvement of 0.06 percent, the report registered a marginal average improvement in global scores this year.

Still, lower scores for some cities was recorded as a result of uncertainty among residents, due to perceived terror threats. Europe saw a decline in ratings in the wake of several terrorist attacks, including those on Manchester, London and Stockholm even while Europe remaining the region with the most livable cities.

“European cities have been dealing with the aftermath of terrorist attacks, increased unease towards Brexit and there is still a degree of unease towards migrant crisis,” Stefano Scuratti, EIU consulting principal, said.

In the past two years, dropping off from seventh to 11th place was Sydney, Australia.

“There have been more episodes in Sydney of suspected events [of terrorism], and general unease towards the topic,” said Scuratti on Sydney’s downgraded position.

In comparison, in part because people did not perceive it as under a high terrorism threat, Melbourne was able to retain its position at the top of the index for the seventh consecutive year, he added.

And leaping 17 places to finish at number 35 was Singapore, a wealthy Southeast Asian city state and according to Scuratti, this jump was the biggest surprise in this year’s ratings. Improvements in education was largely responsible for that expectation-beating performance, Scuratti said.

Singapore displayed “very good performance in its education indicators,” said Scuratti. “The indicators show that Singaporeans are very good at math, science and reading.”

Relative to other locations, several other Asian countries also outperformed. according to the EIU statement, six cities in Asia were among the 12 cities globally that saw improvements in their living standards.

The EIU statement said that suggestion that living standards are finally stabilizing was evident from this year’s overall global improvement, despite being small.

(Adapted from CNBC)

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