Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index 2022
Numbeo is a crowd-sourced global database of various indices such as cost of living, quality of life, crime rates, and others. Although its data is not peer-reviewed and thus can contain ambiguity, its indices are useful to compare countries/cities for a particular topic. Our previous infographic listed the top 10 countries in Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index; the infographic above lists the opposite—the bottom 10 countries.
The previous article briefly covered how Numbeo collects and aggregate data for this index. To put in short, Numbeo determines the quality of life in a city/country by considering the following eight aspects of life: Purchasing power, Pollution, House price to income ratio, Cost of living, Safety, Health care, Traffic commute time, and Climate. We have used the index for 2022 mid-year which covered 87 countries.
For the more detailed explanation, please read our previous article: “Quality of Life Index 2022: What Is Common among Top 10 Countries?“
Keep in mind that Numbeo collects data from website visitors—if a country does not have a good number of population with literacy, or if a country does not provide enough infrastructure for its people to access the Internet, then Numbeo is unable to collect data on the country. Therefore, the rankings may not necessarily reflect the accurate global circumstances.
Also, the term “the global/the world’s average” in this article only refers to the average of the 87 countries only. There are 195 countries in the world; the actual situation could differ from what Numbeo’s rankings may show.
Now, let’s look into each index for the bottom 10 countries in Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index. Is there any common ground that these countries share? If so, what are they and why do they sit at the bottom?
Purchasing Power Index | Nigeria Sinks in Purchasing Power
Numbeo calculates Purchasing Power Index (including rent) relative to New York City. That is to say, if a city has a purchasing power index of 60, residents in that city with an average salary can afford 40% less goods and services than NYC residents. The lower the score, the lower the quality of life.
The world’s average score for this index was 56.98, while the top 10 countries hold quite high score at 95.58. On the other hand, the average score of the bottom 10 countries was only 21.03, less than half of the world’s average. This means residents in the bottom 10 countries with the average salary can only afford 20ish% of what residents in New York with the average salary can afford.
Nigeria hit the bottom of the rankings with a score of 8.25. This may be partly because of its high inflation and rapid population growth outstripping economic growth. There are countries that have higher inflation rates and severer poverty in the world than Nigeria, but many of them are not in Numbeo’s list of countries. Kenya received the highest score in the group (32.19).
Safety Index | Venezuela Is the Least Safe
Safety Index measures the safety of a city/country with a scale of 0 – 100. The lower the score, the less safe, hence the lower the quality of life. The global average score was 59.09. While the average score of the top 10 group was 68.61, that of the bottom 10 group was 44.07.
Among the 87 countries, Venezuela was the least safe country with a score of 16.84. The country has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, according to a 2019 study by the United Nations. By contrast, the Philippines and Sri Lanka received the highest scores in the group; 57.64 and 59.03, respectively. These scores are higher than the scores of two countries in the top 10: Australia and New Zealand.
Now you may wonder—where are Syria, Yemen, or Afghanistan that are considered unsafe in other indices? In fact, they are not in the 87 countries considered in Numbeo rankings. Again, accuracy of this index remains questionable because of the methodology and ambiguity of surveys.
Health Care Index | Sri Lanka Tops the Bottom 10 Group
Based on surveys, Health Care Index assessed the overall quality of health care system, health care professionals, equipment, staff, doctors, cost, etc. The higher the score, the better the quality of life.
The world’s average score for this index was 64.45, while the bottom 10 average was 54.72, compared to 75.08 of the top 10. Among the bottom 10 countries, Sri Lanka received the best score of 72.02. This score was 25th highest in the 87 countries, just below Portugal (72.09) and above Luxembourg (71.54).
By contrast, Venezuela lags in health care with a score of 39.15. Having the largest oil reserves, the country used to be the richest in the region. However, the country obviously failed to effectively manage and allocate the wealth.
Cost of Living Index | Inexpensive Life in Sub-Continent
Again, this index is relative to New York City (NYC). If a city has a score of 50 for Cost of Living Index, it means the cost of living in the city is half of that in NYC. The lower the score, the better the quality of life.
The world’s average was 48.00, while the top 10 average was 75.24. On the other hand, the bottom 10 average was 31.95. All the bottom 10 countries received scores lower than the global average. The highest score in the group was 41.77 of Venezuela. The country’s hyperinflation would have contributed to this result. By contrast, the lowest score in the bottom 10 was 22.41 of Sri Lanka.
The lowest score in the 87 countries was 17.78 of Pakistan, followed by Sri Lanka and India (23.89). Pakistan positions itself at 70th, while India at 48th in the overall Quality of Life Index rankings.
Property Price to Income Ratio | Sri Lankans May Struggle in Owning Property
Numbeo calculates House Price to Income Ratio as the ratio of median apartment prices to median familial disposable income. The lower the ratio, the better the quality of life.
The world’s average House Price to Income Ratio was 13.34, while the bottom 10 average was much higher at 23.57 than the top 10 average of 7.98. Even though the cost of living is much lower in the bottom 10 group, it is more difficult to own properties in the bottom 10 countries than in the top 10.
Sri Lanka received the highest score in the bottom 10 as well as in the 87 countries: 44.39. On the other hand, Egypt and Bangladesh might be in a better place to own a property. Their scores were lower than the global average; 11.07 and 11.87, respectively.
Traffic Commute Time Index | Tough Commute Experience in Nigeria
This index assessed the overall experience in traffic in a city/country, considering time spent to commute, dissatisfaction levels, the CO2 consumption due to the traffic time, and so on. The lower the score of Traffic Commute Time Index, the higher the quality of life.
The global average was 35.74, and the top 10 average was 27.98; meanwhile, the bottom 10 average was 48.02. All the bottom 10 countries except Vietnam and Venezuela received scores higher than the global average. The scores of the Vietnam and Venezuela were 29.68 and 33.14, respectively.
Residents in Nigeria might experience tougher traffic conditions to commute. The country’s score was 63.39, which was the highest not only in the bottom 10 but also in the 87 countries.
Pollution Index | People Suffer Pollution in the Bottom 10
Assessing the overall level of pollution in a city/country, Pollution Index gives scores between 0 and 100 to each city/country. The score 0 means the least polluted, while 100 means the most polluted. The lower the score, the better the quality of life.
The global average score of Pollution Index was 53.00; meanwhile, the top 10 average was 20.92 and the bottom 10 average was 77.83. None of the bottom 10 countries received a score lower than the global average.
Nigeria‘s score (88.09) was the highest in the bottom 10 group. This was the second highest score in the 87 countries where Lebanon got the highest score of 89.05. The lowest score among the bottom 10 was 60.25 of Sri Lanka.
Climate Index | Venezuela Enjoys the Best Climate
Climate Index assessed the likability of a city/country. Numbeo defines that a city/country has a better quality of life if the city/country has a moderate temperature and low humidity without any weather condition that most people do not prefer. The higher the score of Climate Index, the better the quality of life.
In this index, the gap between the top 10 countries and the bottom 10 was not significant compared to the other indices. The global average was 78.25, while the top 10 average was 79.27 and the bottom 10 average was 77.79.
Venezuela might have the ideal climate; the country’s score (99.93) was the highest not only in the bottom 10 but also in the 87 countries. Among the bottom 10 group, Sri Lanka received the lowest score at 59.11. This was the 11th lowest score in the 87 countries.
The bottom 10 countries underperformed significantly in Purchasing Power Index and Pollution Index, lagging the global average by more than 20 points. By contrast, the cost of living in these countries are much less than the global average.
However, Numbeo’s rankings may not be accurate especially for the bottom—the quality of life in the bottom 10 countries may not be as bad as it appears in the rankings. This is primarily because Numbeo’s data is mostly based on visitors’ surveys, which automatically excludes more-deprived countries.
In fact, most of the countries that underperformed in Legatum Prosperity Index are not even included in Numbeo’s rankings. Additionally, Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index covers only 87 countries and regions. However, there are 195 countries and regions in the world as of 2022. Thus, 87 countries are quite small as a sample size to reflect the world’s situations accurately.
That said, Numbeo’s Quality of Life Index could help compare a country with others in the context of the 87 countries and regions. Also, the index is helpful to get insights on a country’s weakness and strength.