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Dhaka improves ranking in least liveable city index

Published : 23 Jun 2022 09:34 PM

Bangladesh's capital Dhaka is the 7th least liveable city in the world this year, moving up three spots from its 2021 ranking, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Index for 2022. 

According to the report published on Thursday, Dhaka improved its position, as Karachi, Algiers and Tripoli moved down. It scored 39.2 out of 100 and ranked 166th out of 172 cities. The change was largely due to the lifting of pandemic restrictions. 

Last year the score was 33.5 and the capital ranked 137th among 140 in 2021. The ranking stood at 138th and 139th in 2019 and 2018 respectively. The global average livability score has rebounded to 73.6 (out of 100), up from 69.1 a year ago. However, this is still lower than the average of 75.9 reported before the pandemic. 

The EIU index takes five major factors into consideration – stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Damascus in war-torn Syria remained the worst-ranked city. Even among the bottom ten cities, Dhaka fared the worst on infrastructure, scoring only 26.8.

Poor condition of infrastructure, healthcare, culture and environment, and education are the key factors responsible for Dhaka being one of the least livable cities in the world over the past years.

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, the report noted.

However, in our most recent survey, the index has normalised, as restrictions have been lifted in many countries, it added.

The only non-European or Canadian cities to break into the top 10 were Osaka in Japan and Australia's Melbourne, which came in joint 10th place.

The EIU rankings were shaken up due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the 2020 index being scrapped and fluctuations in the 2021 rankings as lockdowns and social distancing measures affected scores for culture, education and healthcare shifted in cities across the world.

However, the 2022 version of the index saw scores normalise as pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Vienna, which had spilled to 12th place in the 2021 rankings as its museums and restaurants closed, regained the top spot. Copenhagen ranked second, while Zurich and Calgary tied for third and Vancouver rounded out the top five.

The top end of the rankings was largely dominated by cities in western Europe and Canada. The biggest changes since last year’s rankings were powered by the changing coronavirus situation.

Auckland, which had taken the top spot last year, tumbled by 33 places. Wellington and Adelaide, two other cities in New Zealand, fell 46 places and 27 places, respectively.

Cities in Germany, the UK and France, which had slipped in last year’s ranking, improved. Frankfurt climbed 32 places to seventh, while Hamburg moved up 31 places to 16th. The survey for Kyiv was cut short due to Russia’s invasion, the EIU noted. 

Meanwhile, the Russian capital of Moscow saw its livability fall by 15 places while St Petersburg slipped by 13 due to increased censorship amid the conflict and additional restrictions on culture and environment due to Western sanctions. Thirty-three new cities were added to the index this year, including 11 in China.