Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city for the fifth year in a row achieving a near perfect score on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) liveability survey of 140 cities.

The survey rated cities out of 140 in the areas of health care, education, stability, culture and environment and infrastructure.

While 20 per cent of the cities surveyed by the magazine’s Intelligence Unit experienced declines in liveability over the past year, Australian cities were found to be “a relative picture of stability”.

Melbourne again achieved a score of 97.5, just two-and-a-half points shy of perfection.

Adelaide was ranked in fifth place again with an overall rating of 96.6.

The editor of the survey, Jon Copestake, said while Melbourne remained top for a fifth year, the “hostage siege in Sydney late last year has put Australia on a high terror alert, which could affect future scores” for Australian cities.

According to the EIU report, those that score best tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density, which makes them able to foster a range of recreational activities without leading to high crime levels or overburdened infrastructure.

While seven of the top ten scoring cities were in Australia and Canada, Damascus in Syria was ranked as the least liveable city.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s capital Harare was the most improved city in the EIU report.

Most liveable cities top 5:

Melbourne, Australia
Vienna, Austria
Vancouver, Canada
Toronto, Canada
Adelaide, Australia

Least five liveable:

Tripoli, Libya
Lagos, Nigeria
Port Moresby, PNG
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Damascus, Syria