Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, is the second-worst city to live in among 172 cities worldwide, a new report shows.
The revelation is according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its 2022 ranking of the world’s most liveable cities. The city was ranked 171st of the 172 countries ranked by the EIU.
With a relatively low score of 32.2 percent, Lagos was just a little above Syria’s war-torn capital, Damascus, and a place behind Libya’s Tripoli. Both cities are hotbeds of wars, conflicts, and terrorism.
The other cities in the bottom 10 are Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, and Algiers in Algeria. Others are Port Moresby, Dhaka, Harare, Doula, and Tehran, the capital of Iran.
“As in previous surveys, living conditions remain the worst in the bottom ten cities,” the report said, adding “Wars, conflicts and terrorism are the biggest factors weighing down the ten lowest-ranked cities, of which seven are from the Middle East and Africa.”
The report also noted that Vienna, Austria’s capital, is the most liveable city in the world, with Copenhagen, Calgary, Zurich and Vancouver rounding out the top five. The Austrian city rebounded to the top position with a score of 99.9 per cent, as in the pre-pandemic years of 2018 and 2019, scoring highly on all five metrics: education, healthcare, culture and environment, stability and infrastructure.
“The top ten cities are also among those with few covid restrictions. Shops, restaurants, and museums have reopened, as have schools, and pandemic-led hospitalisation has declined, leading to less stress on healthcare resources and services, and even the requirement to wear masks is no longer in force in most situations,” the report said.
Lagos scores low in all categories
Lagos scored very low in all the five metrics used to assess an individual’s lifestyle,
On the stability metric, Lagos scored 20 percent, the same point as Damascus.
Under the healthcare category, the city scored 20.8 percent, the same point it got last year.
For culture and environment, Lagos finished with 44.9 percent while on education metric, the city scored 25 percent.
Nigeria’s former capital maintained 46.4 percent for the infrastructure category.
Same old record
Over the last five years, Lagos’ position remained largely at the bottom of the EIU liveability ranking.
In 2021, Nigeria’s largest city was ranked the second-worst city to live in after Damascus.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the EIU did not release a liveability ranking in 2020.
However, in 2019, Lagos was again the least liveable city in the world after Damascus.
In 2018, Nigeria’s commercial nerve center became the third worst city to live in among 140 cities worldwide.
In 2017, Lagos fell again to the second-worst liveable city.
Lagos is the only Nigerian city measured in the ranking and so it is difficult to determine how other Nigerian cities would have ranked.
The EIU 2022 report
The EIU’s Liveability Ranking and Overview quantify the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 173 cities worldwide. Each city is assigned a score for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
“Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable, or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of our team of expert analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points.
“The scores are then compiled and weighted to provide a score in the 1-100, where 1 is considered intolerable and 100 is considered ideal. The liveability rating is provided both as an overall score and as a score for each category,” the report said.
On a larger scale, the index showed that the global average liveability score has rebounded. The average now stands at 73.6 percent (out of 100), up from 69.1 percent a year ago. However, this is still lower than the average of 75.9 reported before the pandemic.
“Of our five categories, the main improvements over the past year have been in culture and environment, education, and healthcare, all of which were badly affected by lockdowns,” the report said.
The scores for infrastructure remain broadly stable, while stability has deteriorated, owing largely to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it added.
In the new ranking, Russia’s capital, Moscow, saw its liveability ranking fall by 15, while St Petersburg slipped by 13.
“Both cities record a fall in scores owing to increased instability, censorship, imposition of Western sanctions, and corporates withdrawing their operations from the country,” the report said.
Other cities in eastern Europe, such as Warsaw (Poland) and Budapest (Hungary), also saw their stability scores slip amid raised diplomatic tensions, EIU said.
“The war in Ukraine will continue to be a threat to security throughout the next year at least. EIU expects the active phase of the war to continue during 2022 before giving way to more entrenched hostility. Even without escalation, the conflict will continue to fuel global inflation and dampen economic growth.
“Higher global commodity prices, particularly for energy and food, will weigh on liveability in many cities over the coming months and could spark conflict in some. Even where stability is not threatened, the cost-of-living crisis will dampen investment in infrastructure, healthcare, and education, as well as the consumer spending that supports cultural life,” the report concluded.