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United States

Chicago is ranked the most fun city in the world, with dismal Hong Kong lagging far behind

Time Out’s survey crowns the US midwest’s biggest city as the fun capital of the planet, despite high gun-crime rate 

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 January, 2018, 8:39am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 February, 2018, 11:19pm

Often regarded as a symbol of gun violence in the United States, Chicago has been ranked the best city in the world for having fun and enjoying life in an index published on Tuesday.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, ranks near the bottom of the list, trailing both Beijing and Shanghai.

Propelled by its buzzing restaurants and bars, Chicago, the third-largest US city, came top for the second year in a row in the global index by the British culture and entertainment magazine Time Out, followed by Porto in Portugal, New York, Melbourne and London.

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“This Midwestern city offers its dwellers endless opportunities to eat and drink well, be happy and experience cultural opportunities at every turn,” Morgan Olsen, editor of Time Out Chicago, said in a statement.

The magazine asked 15,000 people in 32 cities, from Mexico City to Bangkok, to score them on their food, drink, culture, friendliness, affordability, happiness and liveability.

Chicago enjoyed above average results overall, including top scores for eating and drinking, with safety as its only flaw.

Other findings included New York having the best nightlife, Parisians having the most active sex life and Austin in Texas having the best live music.

Hong Kong ranked a dismal 26th, behind Shanghai (16) and Beijing (22). But at least that was ahead of Sydney (28) and regional rival Singapore (31).

The least fun city on the list was Istanbul.

Chicago became the emblem of US gun violence after homicides soared nearly 60 per cent in 2016, drawing frequent criticism from Donald Trump during his campaign for the presidency and after he was elected. 

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Since then, it has revamped policing policies and developed a sophisticated integration of crime-fighting software and hardware such as cameras.

While there is no hard evidence that those initiatives were responsible, homicides in Chicago dropped 16 per cent in 2017 to 650. That still outnumbered homicides in the two largest US cities, New York and Los Angeles, combined.