Melbourne is the world's most livable city - again

Living conditions around the world are on a steep decline as of late.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual livability ranking — which examines the quality of life in 140 cities “that people might want to live in or visit” — global living conditions have fallen by 1% since 2010, with one-third of the decrease happening over the past year.

In the ranking, Melbourne, Australia, claimed the No. 1 spot for the fifth year running, with a score of 97.5 out of 100.

Damascus, Syria — where the death toll from a four-year civil war has eclipsed 300,000 — is at the bottom of the ranking, with a score of 29.3.

As for the US, the report notes that “North American cities have largely seen declines” and points to civil unrest, police brutality, and the “the deaths of a number of black people in police custody” as partial reasons.

Detroit, Michigan, was ranked No. 6 on the EIU’s list of cities with the biggest livability score decline over the past five years.

Cities that tend to score the best on the survey are mid-size and located in wealthier countries with relatively low population densities. Out of 2015’s top five cities, four are located in Canada or Australia, which have population densities of 3.40 and 2.88 people per square kilometre, respectively (the global average is 46.65 people per square km).

Keep scrolling for a look at the top five most livable cities in the world, with a tie for fifth place.

Elena Holodny contributed to an earlier version of this post.

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