Lagos is world’s third worst city – survey

Lagos city, downtown

Despite efforts  by Lagos government to modernize Lagos, the city is still ranked one of the worst in the world.

By Emmanuel Ogala

Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, is one of the worst cities to live on earth, providing its residents with the worst living conditions, an international survey has found.

In the latest Livability Ranking and Overview survey, done by The Economist Intelligence Unit, only two major cities worldwide are worse to live in than Lagos: Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the overall worst; and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

In the beginning, the livability survey was initiated to test whether human resource departments of organisations needed to assign hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages.

But over time, the survey has evolved, becoming one of the most reliable means of benchmarking the cities of the world.

The survey usually ranks 140 major cities of the world using factors such as political and social stability, crime, education, and access to health care.

Being the country’s most cosmopolitan city, Lagos is the only one considered for ranking from Nigeria

Lagos was ranked 138th, of the 140 cities surveyed. The result also portrayed the city as the worst place to live in Africa.

Even cities that have undergone wars and tumultuous political crisis fared better than Nigeria’s commercial capital. Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire was in the 131st position; Doula, Cameroon (133); Tripoli, Libya (134); and Harare, Zimbabwe (137).

Although the Lagos state government has in the past years invested enormous resources and political will on developing infrastructure in the state, the survey described the quality of Lagos’ infrastructure as “intolerable, undesirable and uncomfortable.”

Aderemi Ibirogba, Lagos State Commissioner for Information, could not be reached for comments on the ranking. His phones were switched off Wednesday afternoon while voice and text messages were yet to be responded to.

The best cities to live in, according to the survey, are Melbourne, Australia; and Vienna, Austria, respectively.

They are followed by Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary; all in Canada. Adelaide and Sydney, both Australian cities are the 6th and 7th most livable places.

Helsinki, Finland is 8th, just before Perth, another Australian city. Auckland, New Zealand, is 10th.

According to the survey, of the worst 10 cities to live in, six are in Africa.

Have you lived in at least two of the cities polled? Share your view of the result in the comment box below.


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  • Kayce

    I totally disagree…….

  • Enemona

    I totally agree. This is too bad, if Lagos is one of the worst cities in the world then Nigeria is one of the worst countries to live in cos, in terms of infrastructures, Lagos is still far better than all other states. Nigeria, I weep for you!

    • E

      Nigeria is an amazing country to live in! It leads Sub-Saharan Africa as the second most financially stable country. However economists and social scientist predict that in the next 10 years it will take South Africa’s place as number one. It also leads Africa in the film and music industry and the only major problem with Lagos is its large population density. Nigeria was ranked as the least depressed country in the world and the top educated country in Africa. Also Nigerian immigrants are the most educated people in America according to the United States census. Thanks for your bullshit though!

      • Enemona

        Please quote the source of your fake statistics. Funny how we keep deceiving ourselves. Does Nigeria, in any way except in your very delusional mind, look like a country that would overtake South Africa in 20 years? Who the heck told you that Nigeria is the least depressed country in the world? If we are least depressed, how come your financial sector is in a state of coma that it requires government to bailout both the capital and the money markets. How broke is your government? Our national debt has been growing since Jonathan took over, we’ve been borrowing and have depleted our foreign reserves, least depressed my a**!

        Yes, educated, I agree but what kind of education? An education that produces half-baked and unemployable graduates? Our people can only thrive overseas since their country is hostile to them, I agree with you Nigerians are the most educated in US, thanks to the American university system and the supporting environment which is curiously absent in our country, yours sincerely was a beneficiary of a free masters degree from an American university.

        Quit this nonsense, the country is in a bad state and we must recognise that and hold our leaders responsible. You will only disagree with me if you’re among those plundering the country, which is quite likely.

        Thanks for thanking me for the ‘bullshit’: I guess just like bullshit, the truth is hard to swallow.

  • Janet black


  • sentiments all the time. it is true. we leave here.. “using factors such as political and social stability, crime, education, and access to health care. are these factors not present in Lagos? abeg make una allow person hear word jor… we are doomed as a nation… great country, useless people…

  • Naija

    In as much as I will like to disagree with you on this survey. I think Crime alone would make us qualify. If you disagree, tell me one sane Nigerian man that would take a stroll at 11pm in Lagos. Ikorodu road? Third mainland Bridge? Yaba? Ikeja? Surulere? VI? Lekki? Ajah!? Festac? Try it and you might end up finding his headless body.
    What a shame. The state Government is trying, but they need to invest more in street lights, CCTV’s, train systems and more accessible road infrastructure.

  • If you disagree, say why you disagree

  • freddie

    If you haven’t personally lived in central african countries, angola, namibia, mali and other african countries then you shouldnt rate any country. These survey is based on EXPATRIATE LIVING CONDITION. what nonsense. Lagos has challenges but not as bad as portrayed.

    • MrsB

      Well I “personally” live in Lagos and I totally agree. Nigeria can only get better when we start telling ourselves the truth and throw away sentimentality. Even the supposed high brow areas where people pay rent in millions don’t have basic necessities(light, water, good roads). I’m a living testimony, my husband and I just moved out a flat in Lekki environs where we were paying 1.8million per annum with a service charge of 250,000 but we never had light and we were buying water and the management company for the house did not even give a shit. They stopped returning our calls. The only option we had was to “manage” until our lease expired. This is just one of the few bad experiences I’ve had (of course there are many more). Nigeria is really a terrible country and is getting worse everyday so please wake up and smell the coffee.

  • mike jacobs

    why rate Lagos on only bad things that it does. when will we start showcasing our country on a better light. My blog is built to look at Nigeria in a positive light business wise. and encourage those doing business very well. Visit us at