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SA cities score mid-level satisfaction in Least & Most Stressful Cities Index

17 June 2021 - 11:36 By TimesLIVE
Johannesburg, SA's economic hub, is rated 49 out of 100 cities in the global Least and Most Stressful Cities Index.
Johannesburg, SA's economic hub, is rated 49 out of 100 cities in the global Least and Most Stressful Cities Index.

SA's two major metros are fairly well rated for their “livability” compared with cities across the globe, with Johannesburg ranked 49 out of 100 cities, and Cape Town taking 51st place.

The 2021 Least and Most Stressful Cities Index, released on Thursday by VAAY.com, rates factors like safety and security, sociopolitical stability, population density, air, light, and noise pollution levels, the amount of traffic congestion and weather conditions. 

The least stressful city is Reykjavik, Iceland, ahead of Bern in Switzerland and Helsinki, Finland.

Mumbai, India, ranks as the most stressful city in the study, followed by Lagos, Nigeria, and Manila, the Philippines. Manila is the most densely populated city in the study, ahead of Doha, Qatar, and Kabul, Afghanistan.

People living in Reykjavik, Iceland, have the best air quality, followed by Edinburgh in the UK and Wellington, New Zealand. The worst air quality was found to be in New Delhi, India, followed by Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and Karachi, Pakistan.

Citizens in Oslo, Norway, have the best access to healthcare, ahead of Sydney, Australia, and Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo has the highest score for its Covid-19 response, meaning that it had the lowest stress impact on its citizens. Bangkok and Montreal ranked second and third.

On a weather rating, São Paulo, Brazil, has the highest score (100), meaning it has the least stressful weather conditions, followed by Los Angeles (89.6) and Cape Town (88.8).

Johannesburg ranks 95 out of 100 for safety and security; 87 out of 100 for access to healthcare; 84 out of 100 for air pollution; and 55 out of 100 for financial stress. 

Bucharest, Romania, has the lowest unemployment rate (1.2%), followed by Bangkok, Thailand (1.8%), and Warsaw, Poland (1.9%).

Lagos, Nigeria, has the highest unemployment rate (37.1%), followed by Johannesburg (35.1%) and Cape Town (26%).

“Our objective with this study is to show what cities can achieve for their citizens through effective governance, robust environmental policies and well-resourced social welfare systems. The aim is not to single out the cities which may lag behind in any of these areas, but rather highlight those which are leading examples of what can be done to improve the wellbeing of their inhabitants,” said Finn Age Hänsel, co-founder of VAAY.

“We hope that the results of the study serve as a useful barometer for cities and citizens alike to reassess their environments and work together towards developing cities that are less stressful places to live.”