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Vienna: the world's most prosperous city

18 November 2012

Top place for Austria's capital in the latest UN report - followed by New York, Toronto and London.  

The United Nations have evaluated prosperity in the world’s cities and presented the latest results in a report, "State of the World's Cities Report 2012/2013: Prosperity of Cities" [pdf, 5,612.9kb]. Vienna tops the ranking, which includes 69 major cities worldwide, coming ahead of New York, Toronto, London, Stockholm, Helsinki, Dublin, Oslo, Paris and Tokyo. It is interesting that Vienna managed to get maximum points both for productivity and for infrastructure.

The report was published by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN HABITAT, which looks at more than just economic criteria. In addition to economic productivity, it examines factors such as quality of life, infrastructure, equity and environmental sustainability. All of this data has resulted in the “City Prosperity Index”.

Large cities with high living standards such as Vienna did particularly well in the report thanks to their balanced societies. Good government and urban planning as well as appropriate laws and regulations enable cities such as these to offer a living environment which is exceptionally safe and secure. Other important factors taken into account were access to education and life expectancy. The study’s authors claim that if these preconditions are met they will automatically be accompanied by a high degree of equity and equality.