Karachi still among world’s 10 least liveable cities

Updated September 04, 2019

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Karachi has been named among the 10 least liveable cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).  —  Photo by Ali Raza Khatri/File
Karachi has been named among the 10 least liveable cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). — Photo by Ali Raza Khatri/File

Karachi has been named among the 10 least liveable cities in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) — the research and analysis division of the Economist Group — in The Global Liveability Index 2019 published on Wednesday.

Each year, the EIU gives 140 cities scores out of 100 on a range of factors, such as living standards, crime, transport infrastructure, access to education and healthcare, as well as political and economic stability.

This year, Karachi has been ranked 136th on the list — the fifth least liveable city in the world — only managing to fare better than Damascus in Syria, Lagos in Nigeria, Dhaka in Bangladesh and Tripoli in Libya. Other countries included in the list of the 10 least liveable cities include Caracas in Venezuela, Algiers in Algeria, Douala in Cameroon, Harare in Zimbabwe and Port Moresby in PNG.

Ranked on 136th position, Karachi's overall rating out of 100, which EIU stated was ideal, was 40.9, its stability rating was 20, healthcare 45.8, culture and environment 38.7, education 66.7 and infrastructure 51.8.

Karachi's ranking has improved by one spot in comparison to 2018 when it was listed on the 137th position.

Read: 'Karachi has become the worst city in Pakistan'

For the first time, the index noted the effects of climate change on liveability, with Indian capital New Delhi and Egyptian capital Cairo plunging in the rankings to 118th and 125th place respectively due to "poor air quality, undesirable average temperatures and inadequate water provision".

"We expect problems relating to climate change to put increasing pressure on liveability scores in the coming years and for the number of cities affected to grow," Agathe Demarais of the EIU said.

Meanwhile, Austrian capital Vienna retained its ranking as the world's most liveable city. Vienna once again came ahead of Australia's Melbourne — which had held the top ranking for seven years until losing it to Vienna in 2018.

The top two were followed by Sydney, Osaka and Calgary.

Vienna — known for its convenient public transport, refreshing Alpine tap water and varied cultural life — scored 99.1 points out of 100, as it did last year.

"Western Europe and North America continue to be the most liveable regions in the world," the EIU said in a press release.

Europe claimed eight of the top 20 spots, with cities in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada making up the rest.

However, French city Paris, dropped six places to 25th due to the anti-government "yellow vest" protests — images of which went around the world.

Improvements in liveability that had taken place in emerging markets' cities in recent years —thanks to greater stability as well as better education and healthcare — "are under serious threat from an increasingly adverse climate," she said.

London and New York rank 48th and 58th respectively as they continue to struggle under the perceptions of the risk of crime and terrorism and overstretched infrastructure.

Karachi fourth lowest on safe cities ranking

In the EIU's Safe Cities Index 2019, Karachi was ranked 57th out of 60 with a score of 43.5.

Myanmar's capital Yangon, Caracas and Lagos were the three lowest rated cities on the ranking while Japan's capital Tokyo was the top ranking city.

The ranking, released on August 29, looks at digital, infrastructure, health and personal security. Karachi was ranked 52nd in digital security, 59th in health security, 55th in infrastructure security and 58th in personal security.

Read: Karachi least safe in 60 world cities: report

However, this year's ranking marks an improvement from 2017 when the metropolis was rated the lowest in the list of 60 cities.