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Melbourne - The Happiest City

It’s said that Melburnians can be a little smug sometimes – but who can blame us when we’ve got world-class dining options, a rich arts landscape and a killer live music scene? Thanks to our friends at Time Out for providing us with their Time Out City Life Index which has revealed that Melbourne is not only one of the most exciting cities in the world for culture and going out; it’s also one of the happiest.

Time Out polled 15,000 people from 32 cities around the world. They were asked questions related to their lifestyle habits and their feelings about life in their city, ranging from how often they go out for dinner to how they’d rate their city for affordability, safety and friendliness. The responses were then assessed across seven different categories:

  • Food & Drink – whether the city offers a good range of eating options
  • Culture – how often people engage with arts and culture, and how highly they rate it
  • Relationships & Community – whether it’s easy to make friends and fall in love, and how welcoming the city feels
  • Neighbourhoods – whether locals love their local communities and which neighbourhoods are overrated
  • Affordability – whether people can get by OK
  • Happiness – how satisfied or stressed locals are in their city
  • Liveability – whether it’s easy to get around and find something to do and see.

Among all the cities surveyed, Melbourne came in at number 4, narrowly missing out to Chicago (who also took out the top spot last year), Porto and New York. The big factor that catapulted Melbourne to fourth place: food and drink. Globally, the survey found that all the highest-ranked cities have super high ratings for their bar and restaurant scene. 80 percent of Melburnians rated their local bar and food scene as outstanding, and 74 per cent of Melburnians agreed that “there’s always something to do or see”. It’s no surprise then that Melbourne ranks second for ‘inspiration’. We’re spurred on by a sense that there’s always something new to discover.
Sadly, the story isn’t the same in Sydney. Our northern friends ranked at 28 on the list, beating Dubai, Boston, Singapore and Istanbul. Only 37 per cent of Sydneysiders had positive feelings towards the dining scene, and only 28 per cent felt as excited about Sydney's cultural offerings as Melburnians do.

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