Nairobi drops 2 steps in ranking of liveable cities

Nairobi is looking to cement its position as the hub of the region. file photo | nmg
Nairobi is looking to cement its position as the hub of the region. file photo | nmg 

Nairobi has slid two positions in the latest ranking of the best city to live in by a global survey on quality of life.
The study by US consultancy Mercer ranks Kenya’s capital at position 186 out of 231 global cities. The city was position 184 last year.
Kampala is ranked ahead of Nairobi at position 173, representing the best score in East Africa.

Rwanda’s Kigali came in third behind Kampala and Nairobi at position 192 while Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam settled for position 199.

“As far the quality of living is concerned between 2016 and 2017, Nairobi has been stable. However, the ranking indeed changed for two specific factors: a) the inclusion of a new city in the ranking and which was ranked above Nairobi, and b) the increase in the ranking of a city which was lower than Nairobi in 2016,” a Mercer official responded to our queries. To rank the cities, the survey examined the levels of traffic congestion, quality of public transport, electricity supply and banking services.

Other indicators include crime levels, education, political stability, housing, food availability and entertainment.

The ranking offers a sneak preview of a country’s level of development and the city’s ability to attract and retain investors, expatriates and tourists.


It also guides multinationals in their assessment of the pay for their staff in different countries in which they have operations.

Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa with Nairobi looking to cement its position as the hub of the region.

But it continues to grapple with poor roads, traffic jams, unstable electricity supply and garbage collection that have removed some shine off Nairobi’s appeal.

A separate study by Serbia-based website,, ranks Nairobi the second worst-city in the world with heaviest traffic congestion, behind Kolkata in India.

The Mercer survey shows that South Africa’s Durban is the best city to live in on the continent at position 87.