Melbourne has retained its status as the world's best city to live in for a fourth consecutive year, according to the latest report by The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Index.
The Victorian capital beat 139 other cities to top the list, by achieving perfect scores of 100 in healthcare, education and infrastructure categories, as well as in the sub-category of spot. Melbourne also performed well in other areas such as stability, culture and environment, among a total of 30 factors.
This year, as many as four Australian cities have made the top 10 list of the most liveable cities around the world. Adelaide was ranked 5th, Sydney was 7th and Perth came in 9th.
Two European countries made the Top 10 list: Vienna, Austria at 2nd spot and Helsinki, Finland in 8th; while three Canadian cities are also featured in Top 10: Vancouver (3rd), Toronto (4th), and Calgary (5th - tied with Adelaide).
The Economist's report also shows that urban life has deteriorated somewhat over the past five years. Liveability declined in 51 places and improved in 31 places.
However, the top cities have not changed much over time. The index also notes that they "tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relativey low population density".
At the other end of the list, cities ranked at the bottom are in areas of conflict, such as Damascus in Syria, Dhaka in Bangladesh, and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.
The report explains: "Conflict will not just cause disruption in its own right, it will also damage infrastructure, overburden hospitals, and undermine the availability of goods, services and recreational activities."
Top 10 cities in 2014
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Adelaide, Australia
5. Calgary, Canada
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Perth, Australia
10. Auckland, New Zealand
The world's bottom 10 cities for liveability
131. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
132. Tripoli, Libya
133. Douala, Cameroon
134. Harare, Zimbabwe
135. Algiers, Algeria
136. Karachi, Pakistan
137. Lagos, Nigeria
138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
139. Dhaka, Bangladesh
140. Damascus, Syria