Australia may have been trounced by Britain at the Olympics but its dejected sports stars can take some comfort from the fact that their cities have been judged far better places to live.
Melbourne is the best city in the world to live in while Sydney, Adelaide and Perth also make the top 10 and Brisbane comes in at number 20, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit global “liveability” study.
By contrast there is not a single British city in the top 50. London, basking in the afterglow of the hugely successful Games that saw Team GB reach third place in the medal table, is judged to be just the 55th most desirable place to live in the world and has fallen in the rankings after last summer’s riots.
Manchester remains Britain’s best city according to the study, which looks at crime levels, education, health care, culture and infrastructure, but it also dropped points to reach number 51 following the widespread looting and disorder that reached its shopping centres last August.
The EIU first began ranking cities to test whether or not companies should pay staff a hardship allowance if they make employees relocate to a different country.
Its researchers look at how “tolerable” it is to live in a particular place given its crime levels, threat of conflict, quality of medical care, levels of censorship, temperature, schools and transport links.
In the latest rankings for 2012, Melbourne came top having overtaken Vancouver in Canada.
Australia’s second city is famed for its sporting events, although is perhaps still best known in Britain as the setting for the soap opera Neighbours.
According to the EIU Melbourne came close to recording a “perfect score” with a liveability rating of 97.5 percent, losing points only for climate, culture and petty crime.
Like most of the cities at the top of the league, it is much less crowded than the long-established metropolis of London.
“Australian cities continue to thrive in terms of liveability: Not only do they benefit from the natural advantages of low population density, but they have continued to improve with some high profile infrastructure investments," said the study.
Auckland, New Zealand, also makes the premier league along with three Canadian cities - Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary.
Best ten cities to live in:
Auckland, New Zealand
And the worst ten:
Abidjan, C?te d’Ivoire
Papua New Guinea