Best City for Quality of Life worldwide in 2021

Copenhagen tops Monocle's best cities for Quality of Life Index 2021

Photo: Pierre Mangez

Once again, Copenhagen claims the number one spot in Monocle magazine's recognized Quality of Life Survey.

For the fourth time, Copenhagen has claimed the number-one spot in the media outlet Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey, which began back in 2007. Copenhagen is accompanied by destinations such as Zurich, Helsinki, Stockholm and Tokyo in the top 5, as the international magazine, providing briefings on global affairs, business, culture and design, resumes its rankings after a one-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ranking underlines the Danish capital's strong brand globally, in a time where topics such as investment in liveability, resilience, and sustainability are high on the agenda. 

"Copenhagen is one of those cities where there is a real ambition to deliver a better quality of life for everyone," said Monocle's editor in chief, Andrew Tuck.

"The ambitions around creating a cleaner environment are best in class and the city is reaping the rewards of years of urban investment."

This year's report sought to gauge which cities have used the past months "to build back better; defend their economies, cultural scenes and high streets; and to press ahead with projects to ensure that transport works and parks are tended but also that a sense of civic pride is promoted," it said.

It also puts greater emphasis on civic leadership, good housing policies and programmes to support entrepreneurs.

"It was not exactly easy to do this year but we tried our best," Editorial Director Tyler Brûlé said, noting Monocle had applied classic metrics like safety, infrastructure, and ease of opening businesses.

The full top 20 lists of best cities for quality of life in 2021 reading:

  1. Copenhagen
  2. Zürich
  3. Helsinki
  4. Stockholm
  5. Tokyo
  6. Vienna
  7. Lisbon
  8. Auckland
  9. Taipei
  10. Sydney
  11. Seoul
  12. Vancouver
  13. Munich
  14. Berlin
  15. Amsterdam
  16. Madrid
  17. Melbourne
  18. Kyoto
  19. Brisbane
  20. Los Angeles
 Sources: Reuters and Monocle

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Anne Marie Barsøe AMB

Senior Manager – International Press & Communication