Austrian Capital Vienna has been ranked the world’s most liveable city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual survey. Melbourne, which held the title for the past seven years, was ranked second in the Global Liveability Index 2018.

The Economist Intelligence Unit, which is the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, said this is the first time a European city has topped its survey. Vienna was ranked the highest as the city has a low crime rate and there has been a low threat of militant attacks in western Europe.

“While in the past couple of years cities in Europe were affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region, which caused heightened security measures, the past year has seen a return to normalcy,” the Economic Intelligence Unit said in a statement on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Besides Melbourne, Osaka in Japan, Calgary in Canada and Australia’s Sydney featured in the top five cities. The report said the cities that have scored the best on the list tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries.

Big cities such as New York, London and Paris, which were ranked 57th, 48th and 19th, suffer from “higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems than are deemed comfortable”, the report added.

Meanwhile, Syrian capital Damascus ranked the least liveable city in the world, followed by Dhaka in Bangladesh and Lagos in Nigeria.

Of the 140 cities that were surveyed, 49% were found to have negative changes in their overall liveability rank in the last six months and 34% experienced positive outweighing the positive ones.