New Delhi — Mumbai ranks 45th and Delhi 52nd on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Safe Cities Index, which ranks 60 countries worldwide across indicators including digital, infrastructure, health and personal security. Cities in the Asia-Pacific region make up six of top ten safest cities.
According to the index, India and China will see the fastest rise in population– of 1.4% –over the next decade. This comes weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concern over the explosive growth in population in the country.
Tokyo continues to remain at the top for the third year in a row as Singapore and Osaka take second and third places, respectively. Lagos in Nigeria and Caracas in Venezuela rank in the bottom two positions.
Both Mumbai and Delhi rank low across the four parameters of digital, infrastructure, health, and personal security. Mumbai and Delhi share the 47th rank on digital security, and are among the bottom ten cities in health and infrastructure security. Mumbai, however, ranks high in personal security.
On health parameters, according to the survey, South-east Asia and India still enjoy low obesity rates, at least when compared with Western nations. “Our research shows that a city’s region does not have any statistically significant relationship with Safe Cities Index 2019 performance.
Although Asia – Pacific cities such as Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka continue to rank within the top three cities in the Index, the region also hosts some of the lowest scoring cities in the world, with Yangon, Karachi and Dhaka close to the bottom of the list,” Naka Kondo, senior editor of The Economist Intelligence Unit, and editor of the SCI2019 report said.
Given the growing rate of population, the index warns that the best demographic estimates may have trouble keeping up with the speed of urbanisation. According to the survey, New Delhi city planners in 2014 could have been expected to address requirements of 6.7 million more residents between 2020 and 2030. However, that figure has now grown to 8.7 million.
“In 2014 and 2018, the UN Population Division projected the likely increase in the number of urban residents between 2020 and 2030. During that four-year period, demographers increased their earlier estimates for China, India and Sub-Saharan Africa by 10% to 15%. For specific cities, this will mean the already very large challenges are now expected to be even bigger,” the study said.
Modi, in his Independence Day speech on 15 August, flagged a new priority for his administration’s second term in office — controlling the explosive growth in population. He said that if left unchecked it could go against efforts to bring millions of people out of poverty and undo the benefits of higher welfare spending for the poor.