There are numerous factors that determine the overall satisfaction that people attach to living conditions for a particular country, city, or community. These include cost of living, crime rate, poverty, quality of life, civil unrest, threat of terrorism, pollution, infrastructure, etc.
On the whole, livability standards around the world have taken a tumble in recent years. In fact, the average global livability score has fallen 0.6 percent since 2008, according to the Global Liveability Ranking and Report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.
However, data that can be gathered by government officials and other administrators – including healthcare information, social media sentiment, environmental, and other data types – can be used to help decision-makers identify changes in living conditions, spot trends that are shaping living standards, and help guide them to take action to drive improvement.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia have developed a tool that allows government officials and other users to pinpoint areas in Melbourne’s inner suburbs with high rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and depression, where residents are lacking access to medical care.
The tool, called the Health Demonstrator, maps out communities where high rates of illness and low access to medical care overlap. The tool has been demonstrated to government and medical officials in the region and is being considered for future planning.
Researchers and government leaders can also use analytics to identify and distinguish the livability attributes of a particular country or region.
For instance, researchers at the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology in Bhopal, India have studied 35 residential areas across Bhopal to gain a deeper understanding of how residents there characterize the livability of their communities.
The study reveals that while certain characteristics are of high importance to certain respondents (e.g., access to public transportation among senior citizens), other attributes are deemed as pivotal to all age groups, including the availability of community gathering spaces.