This may not be news to residents of Harare who have to contend with the conditions daily but Harare placed 135 out of 140 in the Economist groups liveable cities index. This is unsurprising given the state of the national economy and challenges faced in the nation that span to healthcare, transport, energy and inflation.


The Economist groups liveable cities index assigns each city a score for over 30 factors grouped into 5 categories; stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. These scores are then collated and the cities ranked. Zimbabwe placed behind Dakar Senegal, Algiers Algeria, Douala Cameroon and Tripoli Libya. The city of Harare placed ahead of only Port Moresby Papua New Guinea, Karachi Pakistan, Lagos Nigeria, Dhaka Bangladesh and Damascus Syria.

In contrast the top 10 liveable cities were Vienna Austria, Melbourne Australia, Osaka Japan, Calgary Canada, Sydney Australia, Vancouver Canada, Toronto and Tokyo (tied for 7th), Copenhagen Denmark and Adelaide Australia.

Things are dire not only in the city of Harare but in the country of Zimbabwe as a whole. Grappling with aged infrastructure that is far below capacity for the estimated population of 1.485 million people the city is bound to be difficult to live in. Aside from infrastructure the healthcare availability and sporadic protests post 2018 elections would have counted heavily against the city in the rankings.