Europe’s quality of life improved for the first time in a decade despite terrorism attacks

It’s comfortable here.
It’s comfortable here.
Image: Reuters/Octav Ganea
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The spate of terror attacks across Britain and in Europe has led to some major cities falling in a benchmark ranking for “liveability.” But this was not enough to bring down Europe’s overall quality of living.

The Economist Intelligence Unit puts together a report, titled “The Global Liveability Report,” each year to rank 140 cities across the world in order of best living conditions. The idea behind the report is to also help corporations better understand the environment they send workers into, and subsequently pay them premium, the harsher conditions are.

The rankings are calculated by scoring 30 qualitative and quantitative factors, such as health care, education, and stability, that provide the best and worst living conditions for people. The scores from each factor are then put together and weighted to give a final score of between 1-100, with 100 being ideal and 1 being intolerable.

This year, the EIU pointed out that liveability in Europe overall, as well as globally, registered an improvement for the first time in decade, by just 0.06 percentage points. The EIU acknowledged that while this improvement is “marginal,” it does reflect a “potential milestone for the ranking,” due to the fact of the area’s litany of economic and socio-political crises, such as the credit crunch, euro-zone sovereign debt crises, civil unrests, the refugee influx, as well as “mounting” terrorist attacks.

“Western Europe has become a focal point for mounting concerns, and repeated attacks in France and UK have had a contagion effect, raising terror alerts and lowering stability scores in cities across the region,” said the EIU in the report. “However, there are other factors that could prove to be destabilizing. Unrest has grown in some countries, particularly over the migration crisis, and the British vote to leave the EU could pave the way for further uncertainty and political conflict.”

This summer, two of Britain’s most major cities—London and Manchester—were hit by terrorist attacks. The May bomb attack on an Ariana Grande concert knocked Manchester down the ranking by eight notches, to 51st place but it still obtains a healthy 87.5% score, and two positions above Britain’s capital.

Stockholm in Sweden also dropped down the list following an attack in April which killed five people. However, it still registered at 26th.

Meanwhile, three European cities made the top 10 spots in the overall table, while Melbourne in Australia claimed the number one spot.