Melbourne has retained its crown as the world’s most liveable city for the seventh year running in the Economist’s annual global liveability survey, ahead of Vienna and Vancouver.

It is the first time in the survey’s 15-year history that a city has placed first for seven consecutive years. The only city to come close to the record was Vancouver which held the title of world’s most liveable city for six consecutive years from 2004 – 2010.

Melbourne’s trendy bars and cafes and world-class sporting grounds no doubt helped the city secure its score of 97.5 out of a possible 100. The survey report said the ongoing threat of terrorism around the world affected the scores, including that of Sydney’s. Melbourne’s relatively low crime rate was one of the factors taken into consideration by the survey authors.

Victorian Council of Social Services chief executive, Emma King, accused the survey of painting an unrealistic picture of the reality of life in Melbourne, “Melbourne is a great city. But, for many, it provides anything but an easy life.”

The city continues to struggle with a rise in homelessness, the issue of housing affordability and rising rental prices.

All five Australian cities that were included in the survey ranked in the top 20. Adelaide finished in equal fifth place with Calgary in Canada and Perth ranked seventh. Sydney fell four places in this year’s survey, landing in eleventh spot and Brisbane finished sixteenth, the only Australian city to fall behind Sydney.

The Economist’s annual survey assesses a total of 140 cities around the world and ranks them on their stability, healthcare, culture, environment, education and infrastructure to determine which cities are the best and worst to live in. The cities who can participate in the survey are determined by the survey’s authors, based on whether people can visit the city in its current state or not.