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Hanoi, Saigon Among Most-Improved Cities in Liveability: Economist

The country's two largest cities were among the most improved in the world on the Global Liveability Index.

Saigon came in No. 116 and Hanoi landed at No. 107 out of 140 global metropolises featured on the Economist's Global Liveability Index. The rating takes into account 30 different factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure, according to VnExpress. The two cities' rises are attributed to the country's rapid economic development as well as strong scores for art and recreational activities, private education and road infrastructure. The top five most-improved cities this year are Abidjan, Hanoi, Belgrade, Tehran and Ho Chi Minh City.

"During this period [2017-2018], 103 of the 140 cities surveyed have seen some change in overall liveability scores. Of these, 60 have seen improvements in liveability. Four cities in particular—Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, Hanoi in Vietnam, Belgrade in Serbia and Tehran in Iran—have seen increases of 5 percentage points or more," the report reads.

Vienna replaced Melbourne at the number one spot this year and was followed by Osaka, Calgary, Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Adelaide. The absence of famous cities like Paris and New York in the top 10 is largely because of high crime rates and traffic congestion. The report skews heavily towards affluent nations with relatively low population densities. 

With the exception of Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam, most Asian nations did not perform better this year. Kuala Lumpur, Kathmandu and Colombo's liveability declined in the past year. While Dhaka was third from the bottom, just above Lagos and Damascus.

Hanoi and Saigon were recently named in the top 10 for most affordable cities in Southeast Asia while Saigon was deemed as the fifth fastest growing in tourist growth.

A free summary of the 2018 Global Liveability Index report can be downloaded here.

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