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In the latest Quality of Life survey, 87% of Dunedin residents said their overall quality of life was good, very good or extremely good.
Last time the survey was conducted in 2016, it was 88%, the best in the country.
This time, Wellington (90%), Hutt City (89%) and Tauranga (91%) all scored higher.
Dunedin also scored highly as a desirable place to live and 88% of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed the city was a great place to live.
Residents also felt the city was safer, with improvements from the 2016 survey in perceptions of problems relating to alcohol and drug issues, vandalism, and safety after dark.
On the negative side, fewer residents agreed housing costs were affordable (65%) than in 2016, though that was still higher than the other cities surveyed.
There was also an increase in the percentage of residents who felt graffiti or tagging was a problem, up from 59% in 2016 to 65% in 2018.
The survey is a local government research project and a collaboration between the Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hutt, Porirua, Wellington and Christchurch City Councils.
The survey was first conducted in 2003, repeated in 2004, and has been undertaken every two years since.
Research company Nielsen was commissioned to undertake the 2018 survey on behalf of the participating councils, and surveyed 697 residents in Dunedin.
Mayor Dave Cull said the results again confirmed the city's liveability was one of its biggest drawcards.
Mr Cull said he was also pleased there had been an increase in the number of residents who felt they could heat their homes properly and a decrease in those who felt their home had a problem with damp or mould.
Housing affordability and availability was an area of concern that needed to be addressed, as the city's population would continue to grow as major projects such as the hospital rebuild started, he said.