A key driver of Australia’s economic development is through promoting migration. A strong bottleneck to achieve the targets is a disproportional concentration of population in the metropolitan cities. To avoid congestion in these cities, emphasis is being given at the government level to promote the regional cities. With different city ranking systems, this study tries to identify linkage between the city ranking and people’s preference to live there. The proposed ranking system uses six components, namely, economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and governance. A comparison is done between the ranking systems by first assigning the same weightage to the six components and then assigning different weightages based on people’s preferences. This study considered 112 Australian cities, which were ranked by considering their performance based on the non-weighted and weighted parameters. Analytical Hierarchy Process is then used to assign the priorities/preferences of the components, factors, and indicators. The study also incorporates clustering technique to address the issue of missing data/information that is a typical problem with small cities where missing data is a common issue. The results of the comparison demonstrate that assigning weightage to ranking parameters makes the city ranking closer to the preference of people to live in a city. It is also recommended that the city ranking system and urban governance should have closer connection to each other. The lowest performing city ranking parameter should be given higher preferences in urban management and development plans.