Nairobi ranked 186th and London 40th in Quality of Living 2017 city list

Nairobi skyline
Nairobi Skyline ©Jorge Lascar

Nairobi has been ranked in 186th place in the Mercer’s Quality of Living 2017 city list with London just making the top 40.

Mercer produced its latest worldwide quality-of-living rankings from its Worldwide Quality of Living Surveys, using data largely analysed between September and November 2016.

Nairobi faired better than neighbouring countries Uganda and Tanzania, with Kampala ranked 173rd and Dar Es Salaam in 199th place. All were higher than Nigerian cities Lagos and Abuja which were ranked 212 and 213 respectively.


Five Africa cities managed to remain in the top 100 rankings in regards to quality of living, with Port Louis in Mauritius topping the Africa chart at an overall 84th position. Durban (87) ranked the highest for quality of living within South Africa, closely followed by Cape Town (94) and Johannesburg (96). On the other side of the scope, Brazzaville (224) in the Republic of the Congo, N’Djamena (226) in Chad, Khartoum (227) in Sudan and Bangui (230) in the Central African Republic formed the four lowest-ranked cities for quality of living within Africa.

Mercer Quality of Living 2017 regional

Port Louis is the only African city which managed to fall within the top 100 rankings with the highest for infrastructure in 94th place. Cape Town missed it with 1 position ranking at 101st position followed by Tunis (104) in Tunisia and Victoria (109) in Seychelles concluding the top 4 Africa cities. Lack of infrastructure remains a challenge within Africa, with N’Djamena (224), Bangui (226), Conakry (227) in Guinea Republic and Brazzaville (228) in the Republic of the Congo forming the lowest rankings.

Mercer uality of Living 2017 Infrastructure


Even with political and economic turbulence, Western European cities continue to enjoy some of the highest quality of living worldwide. Still in the top spot, Vienna is followed by Zurich (2), Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and a newcomer to the list, Basel (10).

In 69th place, Prague is the highest ranking city in Central and Eastern Europe, followed by Ljubljana (76) and Budapest (78). Most European cities remained stable in the ranking, with the exception of Brussels (27), dropping six places because of terrorism-related security issues, and Rome (57), down four places due to its waste-removal issues. Finally, Istanbul fell from 122nd to 133rd place as a result of the severe political turmoil in Turkey during the past year.

Western European cities also hold most of the top ten places in the city infrastructure ranking with Frankfurt and Munich jointly ranking 2nd worldwide, followed by Copenhagen (4) and Dusseldorf (5).

Westminster Palace
Westminster Palace, London.

London was the highest placed United Kingdom city in 40th position, followed by Edinburgh (45), Birmingham and Glasgow (=53), Aberdeen (58) and Belfast (66).

The lowest ranking cities in Europe are St. Petersburg and Tirana (both ranked 176), along with Minsk (189).

“Cities that rank high in the city infrastructure list provide a combination of top-notch local and international airport facilities, varied and extended coverage through their local transportation networks, and innovative solutions such as smart technology and alternative energy,” said Slagin Parakatil, Principal at Mercer and responsible for its quality of living research. “Most cities now align variety, reliability, technology, and sustainability when designing infrastructure for the future.”