Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, has been ranked as one of the world’s least liveable cities in The Global Livability Index 2023, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In the ranking of 173 cities, Karachi stands at number 169, making it one of the least desirable places to live. This is the same ranking it held in the previous year’s survey.
Factors such as stability, reliable infrastructure, health services, education, culture, and entertainment are taken into consideration when determining a city’s liveability. Vienna has retained its position as the most liveable city in the world for the second year in a row. Other cities in the top five include Copenhagen, Melbourne, Sydney, and Vancouver. On the other end of the spectrum, war-torn Damascus remains the lowest-ranked city. Despite the political comeback of President Bashar al-Assad, there has been no improvement in its liveability scores.
Although Karachi’s ranking is quite low, the city has shown some improvements in the education and healthcare sectors. Its healthcare indicator score has increased from 33.3 in 2022 to 50, and the education score has improved from 66.7 to 75, indicating a 12.4 percent improvement. In terms of culture and environment, there has been a slight improvement from 35.2 in 2022 to 38.7 in the current index, reflecting a nearly 10 percent increase.
Overall, Karachi has scored 42.5 points, which is a 13.3 percent improvement from its previous score of 37.5. However, the city’s performance in stability and infrastructure remains unchanged from the 2022 index, with scores of 20 and 51.8, respectively. Karachi has long struggled with infrastructure issues, which were highlighted during the 2020 flash floods that brought the city to a standstill. Last year, health experts revealed that 56 percent of young motorcyclists in Karachi suffered from lower back pain due to riding on dilapidated roads with depressions, potholes, and open manholes.
In another survey, the Sustainable Cities Index 2023, published by Corporate Knights, Karachi ranked last with a score of D. This is the first time the city has been included in the survey, which evaluates cities based on municipal services, open public spaces, water access, sustainable transport, road infrastructure efficiency, climate change resilience, and more.
While the EIU survey does not include crime statistics, Karachi’s law and order situation remains a concern. According to Sindh Police data, there were 164 murder cases, 27 cases of murder during robberies, 34 car snatching cases, and 15 gang rape cases reported in the city from January to April 2023.
Read more: Heavy Rainfall causes flight delays, cancellations at Karachi Airport
Karachi’s low ranking in the liveability index highlights the challenges the city faces in providing a conducive living environment for its residents. Addressing issues such as infrastructure, healthcare, education, and security will be crucial in improving the city’s liveability and making it a more attractive place to live and work.