The report, released in mid-August, assesses locations around the world to ascertain which places have the best or the worst living conditions. It bases its findings on over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors. These factors are divided into five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Each factor is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable.
While Melbourne tops the world rankings — three Australian and three Canadian cities make the top 10 — Hanoi makes a showing at number 118, just one place above Nairobi in Kenya. Ho Chi Minh City is deemed even worse than the Vietnamese capital, weighing in at number 122, just a place above Caracas in Venezuela, a city that has descended into a state of violence, hyper-inflation and mass popular unrest.
Fortunately for Vietnam, the two main cities finish above Kathmandu (124) — the site of a recent catastrophic earthquake — Tehran (130), Kiev (132) and Tripoli (136).
The report’s findings suggest work needs to be done to make Hanoi and Saigon into more liveable cities — particularly in the areas of infrastructure, healthcare, culture & environment and education. However, considering the present political climate of Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City come surprisingly low on the stability rankings, both achieving scores of 55 out of 100. Which suggests that the country’s stable one-party system, lack of terrorist attacks, long fought for peace, and strong international trading relationships are not taken into account when putting together this report.