Most of World’s Least Livable Cities Are in Africa and Middle East

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A new study covers how livable over 200 cities in the world are. Virtually all the least livable cities in the world are in Africa or the Middle East, with Baghdad at the very bottom of the list.

Many of the cities are in the poorest parts of Africa, according to a new Mercer report. These include Bangui in the Central African Republic. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the county is only $700, according to the CIA Factbook. Also at the bottom of the list, Sana’a is in the Yemen Arab Republic, and the GDP per capita there is $2,300.

Next on the list, out of the region, is Port au Prince in Haiti. According to the CIA Factbook, Haiti is:

Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with close to 60% of the population living under the national poverty line, Haiti’s GDP growth rose to 5.5% in 2011 as the Haitian economy began recovering from the devastating January 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of its capital city, Port-au-Prince, and neighboring areas.

Khartoum in Sudan is the next nearest the bottom. GDP per capita there is $4,600.

In the lead comment of the Mercer 2018 Quality of Living Ranking, the author writes that “developing, unsafe, and war-torn cities” represent all the cities at the bottom.




Living conditions are analysed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:

  • Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.).
  • Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services).
  • Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom).
  • Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc.).
  • Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools).
  • Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc.).
  • Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc.).
  • Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc.).
  • Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services).
  • Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters).
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