One of the first countries in the world to impose containment and close its borders during the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand has become a benchmark in the fight against Covid-19 and reopened its economy before most of the world. With this, its inhabitants returned to a more normal life.
This success allowed the largest city in the country – Auckland, with 1.4 million inhabitants – to be chosen this Wednesday (9) as the best place in the world to live, according to a survey carried out by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU, the research and analysis arm of the UK magazine The Economist).
“Due to the border closures and the resulting low number of Covid-19 cases, New Zealand has been able to keep its theaters, restaurants and other cultural attractions open. The students continued to go to school, which helped Auckland to achieve the best grades in education, ”says the new research report.
New Zealand’s capital Wellington also benefited from the country’s health efficiency and jumped to fourth place in the rankings. In the previous version, as of 2019 – the survey was not released in 2020 due to the pandemic – neither city appeared in the top 10 places.
This is the opposite of what happened to the former ruler, Vienna. After being voted the best city in the world to live in 2018 and 2019, the Austrian capital has collapsed and only ranks 12th. The report itself points out that the drop was due to the second wave of coronavirus that hit much of Europe, forcing cities to close again.
Thus, the entire top of the ranking is now occupied by countries that have not faced a second wave recently:
To arrive at the ranking, the EIU analyzed data from 140 cities around the world into five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, infrastructure and education.
Each of them is divided into a series of qualitative and quantitative indicators, which were received between February 22 and March 21 of this year. With all this data in hand, cities then receive a score ranging from 1 to 100.
Compared to the 2019 survey, the average score fell by 7 points, the category of the health system having fallen the most – a sign that the pandemic has worsened the quality of life in these places.
Overall, Europe has been the hardest hit region. The three cities that have fallen the most in the rankings, for example, are in Germany: Hamburg (34 positions), Frankfurt (29) and Düsseldorf (28). Next come Czech Prague (27), Irish Dublin (22) and Italian Roma (21).
In contrast, the United States – which has already begun to reopen thanks to the success of the vaccination – concentrated the places which increased the most, in particular Honolulu (46 positions) and Houston (31).
As the EIU does not reveal all the cities analyzed and what the full ranking is, it is not possible to know if there are Brazilians in the list and what their position would be. What we can say is that no place in the country is in the top ten worst places in the world to live:
According to the EIU, the current pandemic could also increase the inequalities between the rich cities – and which must therefore vaccinate first – and the poorest, which are at the end of the queue for vaccination.
“Conditions in the poorest cities are likely to worsen further, and if cities cannot access vaccines, they must guard against the emergence of new variants of Covid-19,” the text reads. “A slower vaccination process will lead to a more restrictive lockdown, thus affecting the prediction of the resumption of economic growth. “