Economy

This Is the Worst City in the World to Live In

urf / iStock via Getty Images

Media and research organizations regularly release lists of the best places to live in America. More rarely, the lists contain the best and worst cities in the world to live in. The best of both lists includes methodologies that take into account dozens of factors. These cover issues from safety and education to culture, regulations and cost of living.

One of the best known of these studies is produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It is part of a company that includes The Economist magazine and website. The magazine calls the study “The World’s Most Liveable Cities.” This list also includes the least liveable cities.

The magazine’s editors point out: “Originally designed as a tool to help companies assign hardship allowances as part of expatriates’ relocation packages, the eiu’s index rates living conditions in 172 cities (up from 140 last year) based on more than 30 factors.”

These factors are aggregated into several larger categories. These include stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Taken together, these are used to create an index. The authors point out: “For the past two years, EIU’s global liveability rankings have been largely driven by the covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and social distancing measures affecting scores for culture, education and healthcare in cities across the world.”

While the pandemic is not over, its effects on city liveability carry much less weight.

As is the case with most of these studies, Scandinavian and European cities do well. The list is topped by Vienna, with an index of 99.1. It is followed closely by Copenhagen with a score of 98.0 and Zurich and Calgary, which tie at 96.3. Canada has three cities in the top 10, including Vancouver at 96.1 and Toronto at 95.4. The United States has no cities on this high end of the list.

The worst cities are in war-torn and very poor countries, all in the so-called third world. Damascus, Syria, is at the bottom with a score of 30.7. It is followed by Lagos, Nigeria, and Tripoli, Libya, with scores of less than 35.

These are the worst 10 cities in the world to live in:

  1. Damascus, Syria (30.7)
  2. Lagos, Nigeria (32.2)
  3. Tripoli, Libya (34.2)
  4. Algiers, Algeria (37.0)
  5. Karachi, Pakistan (37.5)
  6. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (38.8)
  7. Dhaka, Bangladesh (39.2)
  8. Harare, Zimbabwe (40.9)
  9. Douala, Cameroon (43.3)
  10. Tehran, Iran (44.0)


Click here to see which is the worst city in each state to live in.

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.