Where Does Manila Really Rank in Terms of Quality of Life?

We take a look at the current rankings worldwide.

(SPOT.ph) You might have stumbled across a post stating that Manila is among the top three cities with the lowest quality of life online, along with Nigeria's Lagos and China's Beijing. A post by the Philippine Star recently made the rounds online. First, you should know that the picture currently being shared is actually from an October 2019 Facebook post of the publication. 

The original Philippine Star report was published on October 7, 2019 and was based on May 2019 research from Deutsche Bank. Out of 56 cities, Manila ranked third; Beijing took second place while Lagos was at the top of the list. The Philippine capital ranked consistently low across the indices used: purchasing power (53rd), safety (46th), health care (45th), property price to income ratio (45th), traffic commute time (51st), pollution (54th), and climate (47th).

The Deutsche Bank released their May 2019 Quality of Life data based on findings by Numbeo, stated the Philippine Star. This online database, in turn, uses online surveys to come up with their Quality of Life index. So the rankings rightfully have people lamenting online—but an update spells even worse news. 


A look at Numbeo's current rankings shows Manila is dead-last at the 249th spot out of 249 cities. Numbeo's current Quality of Life index for Manila is at 45.33; to compare, Adelaide, Australia takes the top spot with an index of 206.54. Lagos, Nigeria is now two spots above us, while Beijing, China is a full 10 rankings ahead. The 2019 Deutsche Bank report took into account 56 cities, while Numbeo's current rankings include 249 cities. 

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According to Numbeo, quality of life in Manila is "very low" as of October 2020 data. Purchasing power, safety, property price to income ratio, traffic commute time, and pollution are some of the worst factors of living in the capital. Meanwhile, cost of living, climate, and health care performed better than the other categories.

Scenes during a lockdown enforced in Sampaloc, Manila in April.
PHOTO BY Jerome Ascano

Manila, alongside other cities in Metro Manila, has been under quarantine since March 2020. Several localized lockdowns were enforced throughout the period to control the spread of COVID-19. As the pandemic continues to destabilize the lives of many, not just in terms of health, we can only hope the current rankings work to start action to lift quality of life in the nation's capital. 

Main image by Jerome Ascano; for illustrative purposes only.

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