Coronavirus: NZ ranked second on pandemic 'normalcy' index

New Zealand has ranked second on a list of countries ordered by how much they've returned to normal during the pandemic.

The Economist has developed a "normalcy index," which ranks nations by their progress.

The "normalcy index" tracked eight variables - sports attendance, time at home, traffic congestion, retail footfall, office occupancy, flights, film box office and public transport - for 50 countries representing about 75 percent of global population and 90 percent of global GDP.

Hong Kong tops the list at 96 percent normality.

New Zealand follows at 87 percent, behind likely in large part due to COVID-19 border closures and travel restrictions.

Pakistan, Nigeria and Ukraine then follow at 84 percent.

"The world is slowly coming back to pre-pandemic levels," The Economist said in a press release.

China ranked 19th, the US 20th, and the UK 36th.

Auckland was also recently named the world's most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit recently and Wellington fourth most liveable, with the elimination of COVID-19 in the community a driving factor in that decision.