Perth City Performance, Brand Strength and Reputation

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Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, ranks well in terms of livability and attractiveness for students. But does Perth’s lagging urban environmental sustainability impact its opportunity for economic growth in a competitive global landscape of reputable city brands? Find out in this snapshot of global indices and rankings measuring city performance, brand strength and reputation.

Let’s take a closer look at: 

  • Livability: how’s life in Perth?
  • Perth: how innovative and sustainable?
  • Reputation: what is Perth known and admired for?

With thanks to our friends and knowledge partners Bloom Consulting, 2thinknow and Resonance Consulting for supporting our city profiles by contributing latest research insights and benchmarking data.


The 2019 edition of the Economist’s Global Livability Report ranks Perth 14th, not making it into the top 10, unlike Australian counterparts Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

The Mercer Quality of Living City Ranking ranks Perth 21st alongside Montréal, and behind Ottawa and Hamburg who tie for 19th. Mercer’s report takes into consideration quality of life factors such as climate, disease and sanitation standards, ease of communications, physical remoteness and local political and social environments. That said, Perth remains ahead of both Nuremberg and Stockholm (23rd).

Perth ranks 87th behind São Paulo (86th) in the Mercer Cost of Living City Report.

Perth’s livability for digital nomads is average, judging by the Nomad List which gives Perth a 3.6 out of 5. Perth’s strongest assets, according to this study, are walkability, resident happiness, A/C or heating, female friendly, English speaking, places to work from and friendly to foreigners.

Nomads rank Perth only ‘okay’ for traffic safety, startup score, cost of living, fun, air quality, hospitals and nightlife. Perth’s weakest scoring subfactor, free WiFi in the city, is considered ‘bad’ by the Nomad List.

Spotahome’s Healthiest Cities Index ranks Perth 10th overall. The index considers Perth’s weakest spots to be electric car charging points, obesity in adults, and annual vacation days, while its strongest subfactors are fast-food outlets, green space, life expectancy and annual sunshine hours.

Perth: how innovative and sustainable?

The Innovation Cities Index (2019) ranks Perth 101st, jumping four positions since the last publication (2018) and thus landing just behind Honolulu (100th) and ahead of Indianapolis (102nd). 162 indicators are used for this benchmark study by 2thinknow, covering 31 industry segments within each city.  

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Sustainable Cities Index (produced in 2010 and which is exclusive to Australian cities) ranks Perth 20th out of 20, illustrating that the Western Australian capital still has a long way to go towards urban and environmental sustainability.

Perth’s reputation: people and education

World’s Best Cities Report (2020) by Resonance Consultancy ranks Perth 63rd, with the highest-ranking asset being its people. In ranking people, Resonance is looking at human capital in terms of diversity, percentage of foreign-born residents, and educational attainment, percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Perth hosts an enviable education hub, ranking 41st according to QS Best Student Cities by Top Universities, which ranks the University of Western Australia 86th – especially strong in terms of international faculty and international students.

Last updated in May 2020

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