Melbourne City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

Melbourne, the second-largest city in Australia after Sydney, is known nationally and internationally for its lively cultural scene and its economic dynamism. Declared in 2018 as the world’s second most liveable city by the EIU’s Global Liveability Index, how does Australia’s “cool kid” perform in innovation, global influence, and sustainability? Let’s explore deeper how Melbourne positions itself on the world stage, drawing insights from data provided by TPBO partners and other reputable institutions.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • Melbourne’s competitiveness and financial performance
  • Melbourne’s brand strength and global attractiveness
  • Livability: Melbourne’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

Melbourne’s competitiveness and financial performance

How attractive is Melbourne as a place to work and do business?

The Global Financial Centres Index 34 ranks Melbourne 39th, dropping eleven positions from the previous ranking. It is currently sitting between Montreal (38th) and Stockholm (40th). Melbourne holds the 12th position in the Asian/Pacific region.

According to 2thinknow’s Innovation Cities Index 2022-2023 Melbourne ranks 23rd, a jump of 10 positions from the previous ranking. The city now sits in between Dallas-Fort Worth (22nd) and Montreal (24th).


Melbourne’s brand strength and global attractiveness

Which subfactors hurt and help the brand of Melbourne?

Resonance’s 2023 World’s Best Cities Report ranks Melbourne 31st, scoring the following in Place Power Highlights: 15th for University and 15th for Google Search. It currently sits just behind Munich (30th), and above Lisbon (32nd).

Kearney’s 2023 Global Cities Report ranks Melbourne 9th, a drop of one position from the previous ranking, sitting right behind Los Angeles (8th), and above Hong Kong (10th). Also, the city ranked 34th in the Global Cities Outlook, a drop of two positions since the previous ranking.

The comprehensive ranking of the Global Power City Index ranks Melbourne 9th. In terms of function-specific rankings, the city ranks 23rd in terms of Economy, 16th in R&D, 22nd in Cultural Interaction, 17th in Livability, 6th in Environment, and 17th in Accessibility. Melbourne ranks 1st for Urban Greenery. Lastly, Melbourne positioned 9th in the Highly-skilled Workers, 20th in the Corporate Executive, 2nd in the Resident, and 19th in the Tourism categories.

According to Brand Finance’s City Index 2023, Melbourne ranks 16th in the global ranking with a score of 72.1/100, sitting in between Chicago (15th) and Zurich (17th).


Livability: Melbourne’s appeal for digital nomads and locals

Which aspects of Melbourne’s urban living make it an attractive place to live, work and study?

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking places Melbourne 20th, tying with Montreal. The Mercer Cost of Living Ranking ranks Melbourne 71st, sitting just behind Noumea (70th), and above Portland (72nd). The cost living survey reports that factors such as currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and instability of accommodation prices are key to determine the cost of expat packages for employees on international assignment.

According to the Best Urban Cities for Digital Nomads ranking by Spot a Home, Melbourne ranks 20th out of 56 global cities. It currently sits between Montreal (19th) and Berlin (21st).

The Arcadis Sustainability City Index 2022 ranks Melbourne 60th overall, sitting in between Houston (59th) and Budapest (61st). Melbourne’s pillar rankings are the following: Planet 50th, People 61st, and Profit 43rd. Its strengths are: Health and income equality, while affordability, transport, and Wi-Fi are all areas which could be improved.

Lastly, Melbourne is home to one of the best universities in the world. According to The Times Higher Education ranking, the University of Melbourne ranks 37th. Whereas, the QS World University ranking ranks the University of Melbourne 17th.


Last updated in January 2024. More city benchmarking insights, profiles and reports in our City Observatory.


Enjoyed our summary of global rankings and indices on Melbourne’s economic performance, its sustainability, attractiveness for digital nomads, brand strength and reputation? Thanks for sharing!

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