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New city rankings lower scores across U.S. due to civil unrest, terrorism concerns

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The Economist’s latest global survey of major urban centers docks U.S. cities for instability; none crack the top 10

U.S. cities, for all their commendable qualities, can sometimes get a bad rap. Transportation issues and affordability can color how Los Angeles, New York, and others get ranked when compared against their global peers.

In a new report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a corporate cousin to the Economist magazine, U.S. urban centers slipped in the annual global ranking of cities due to uncertainty and instability, specifically, terrorism and civil unrest.

The index, which examines 30 different factors related to safety, health care, educational resources, infrastructure and the environment, includes scores for 140 cities across the globe. Very few U.S. cities saw an improved rating, with Honolulu, Hawaii, standing out as a notable exception.

Canada and Australia score extremely well, with Melbourne taking the top spot, and Vancouver, Toronto, and Adelaide also placing in the top, five alongside Vienna, Austria.

American cities such as New York and Chicago dropped in the rankings due to terrorism fears and civil unrest caused by violence and issues of police misconduct. But they aren't alone. Nearly a fifth of the cities surveyed slipped due to security fears, suggesting that as far as many urban areas are concerned, we’re living in tense times.