The coronavirus pandemic has had us re-thinking almost everything. Urban living, commutes, the right family size, health care, how we like to work, and where we want to work. We considered this same question ("Where do people want to work?") in a recent post. Not only are employees who work remotely reconsidering where they want to live, many cities and locations are working to attract these workers with various incentives. The list of countries where travelers can go live and work remotely is growing.

So, we are wondering, has the pandemic changed where you would ideally want to live and work? In a previous article from MoveHub, they shared their top locations to move to once the coronavirus crisis is over:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Spain
  3. Singapore
  4. Finland
  5. Canada
  6. New Zealand
  7. Australia 
  8. Vietnam

Many of these countries also showed up on the newly released Global Liveability Index 2021 from The Economist Intelligence Unit. This index looks at 140 cities worldwide to quantify the challenges presented to an individual’s lifestyle in the past year, except this year it attempted to take into account the impact of the pandemic. Each city was assigned a "liveability score" for more than 30 different qualitative and quantitative factors across five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. 

Here was their top 10 along with the liveability score (out of 100):

  1. Auckland, New Zealand (96.0)
  2. Osaka, Japan (94.2)
  3. Adelaide, Australia (94.0)
  4. Wellington, New Zealand (93.7)
  5.  Tokyo, Japan (93.7)
  6. Perth, Australia (93.3)
  7. Zurich, Switzerland, (92.8)
  8. Geneva, Switzerland (92.5)
  9. Melbourne, Australia (92.5)
  10. Brisbane, Australia (92.4)

As you can see, four countries took the top 10 locations, and Asia showed it has some of the most liveable cities but some of the least liveable cities too. The additional pandemic-related indicators included looking at stress on health-care resources as well as restrictions around local sporting events, theatres, music concerts, restaurants and schools. In this index, the pandemic impacted results that we have seen previously. Vienna, Austria — which has consistently been at the top over the last many years — failed to crack the top 10, coming in 12th place. The Hawaiian capital of Honolulu was the biggest gainer on the index, moving up 46 places to finish 14th due to its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus and rapid vaccine rollout. 

This list gets updated twice each year so it will be interesting to see how things change in the next update!