Global Liveability Report 2018: Lagos is third worst city to live in the world

  • Damascus in Syria is ranked the lowest in the world’s most liveable cities index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • Lagos placed 138th out of the 140 cities ranked in the latest liveability survey, beating Bangladesh which is just above war-ravaged Damascus.

The survey rates 140 cities on more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure.

The only cities which were scored lower than Lagos on the ranking are Syria and Bangladesh, both cities have been plagued with unrest in recent times.

Melbourne loses most liveable city title to Vienna. The two cities have been neck-and-neck in the annual survey of 140 urban centres for years, and are separated by less than a point. Vienna scored 99.1 and Melbourne scored 98.4.

Melbourne has clinched the title for the past seven editions but a downgraded threat of militant attacks in western Europe, as well as the Austrian capital’s low crime rate, helped nudge Vienna into first place.

The Middle East, Africa and Asia account for the ten lowest-scoring cities in the survey where violence, whether through crime, civil insurgency, terrorism or war, has played a strong role.

“Conflict is responsible for many of the lowest scores,” says the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“Conflict will not just cause disruption in its own right, it will also damage infrastructure, overburden hospitals and undermine the availability of goods, services and recreational activities.

The top and bottom ten cities

Below is a ranking of the top and bottom cities surveyed, accompanied by the liveability rating for every city. The liveability score is the combination of all the factors surveyed across the five main categories. Scores are also given for each category.


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Global Liveability Report 2018: Lagos is third worst city to live in the world - Brand Spur


Global Liveability Report 2018: Lagos is third worst city to live in the world - Brand Spur

Japan’s Osaka and Tokyo have now moved up into the top ten, coming in third and seventh place respectively. Both cities achieved their highest ranking on the survey this year thanks to a decline in crime rates as well as improvements in public transportation.

According to the EIU report summary, “Osaka stands out especially, having climbed six positions, to third place, over the past six months, closing the gap with Melbourne.

“It is now separated from the former top-ranked city by a mere 0.7 of a percentage point. Osaka’s improvements in scores for quality and availability of public transportation, as well as a consistent decline in crime rates, have contributed to higher ratings in the infrastructure and stability categories respectively.”

Hamburg and Helsinki, that held tenth and ninth place last year, have dropped out of the top ten, while this year’s ninth-place spot went to Copenhagen, which achieved a score of 96.8 per cent.

Global Liveability Report 2018: Lagos is third worst city to live in the world - Brand SpurCanada, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver also performed relatively well, the report said.

The report noted that global business centres tend to be victims of their own success because the ‘big city’ buzz they enjoy could overstretch infrastructure and cause higher crime rates. It noted that New York (57th), London (48th) and Paris (19th), for instance, are all prestigious hubs with numerous recreational activities but they all suffer from higher levels of crime, congestion and public transport problems.

The report showed without much surprise that Syria’s war-torn capital, Damascus, continues to languish at the bottom of the list, with an overall score of 30.7 per cent. It was followed by Bangladesh’s Dhaka and Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial centre.

In 2017, Lagos was ranked the second worst city to live in after Damascus.