Singapore (right) has beaten Hong Kong for the first time in terms of livability. Photos: Wikimedia Commons, Yym1997, Merlion444

Hong Kong ranks 45th in an annual survey of the world’s most livable cities, 10 spots behind Singapore, according to the Global Liveability Ranking compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Hong Kong’s overall score remains unchanged for the third year at 88.8%. However, the city dropped two places from last year because of pollution and a “threat of civil unrest and conflict” after the Occupy movement in 2014.

Singapore scored 90.4%, leaping 11 places to 35th in the ranking, mainly attributed to educational achievements. It is the first time the Lion City has beaten its longtime rival Hong Kong for better living conditions. It is also Singapore’s highest ever position in the global ranking.

But the margin between the two cities is only 1.6 percentage points and both sit in the top tier of livability, survey editor Jon Copestake was quoted as saying in a press release.

“Singapore’s jump up the rankings can be attributed to consistent and impressive improvements in educational attainment, which has delivered a perfect score for education and pushed the overall score for the city-state above 90% for the first time since the survey began,” Copestake said.

Globally, the Australian city of Melbourne was ranked as the world’s most livable for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Vienna in Austria.

The Canadian cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary were in the third through fifth positions.

The EIU’s Liveability Ranking is based on factors such as safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and the environment, with scores calculated for 140 cities around the world.