Four out of the top five Indian cities in terms of Quality of Life are from South India.

In 5 charts Why you need to ditch the Chennai vs Bengaluru debate and move to Mangaluru nowRepresentational image: Premkudva via Wikimedia Commons
news Livability Thursday, July 06, 2017 - 10:28

The Chennai vs Bengaluru debate is as old as time, and so far, the loyalists of the two cities haven’t been able to convincingly settle that one. But a new study shows we need to ditch the debate really, and move to Mangaluru instead!

User-generated database Numbeo in its latest report has said that Karnataka’s Mangaluru is India’s best city in terms of Quality of Life. The city also occupies the seventh position in a list of 189 global cities including the likes of London, New York and Paris with a life quality index of 185.12.

Surprise, surprise!

In fact, the study has found that four out of the top five Indian cities in terms of Quality of Life are from South India.  

Hyderabad is 129th (117.30) on the list while Bengaluru and Coimbatore are ranked 131st (115. 52) and 134th (113.66) respectively, making them the third, fourth and fifth most liveable Indian cities on the list.

Pune, the only non-south Indian city on the list, is India’s second best city with a score of 121.55

New Zealand’s capital Wellington is the best city according to the rankings with a life quality index of 208.63. Second on the list is Australia’s Canberra with a score of 203.52.

According to Numbeo, the Quality of Life Index is an estimation of overall quality of life keeping in mind factors of purchasing power, pollution, house price to income ratio, safety, health care, traffic commute time and climate.

According to the recent data, Mangaluru fares better than all other cities in India in terms of these parameters.


Among the 189 cities considered, Mangaluru is ranked the safest city in India with a safety index of 76.64 and world rank of 22 followed by Hyderabad at 61.89 and world rank of 77. Ahmedabad finds itself at third (59.66) while Coimbatore is at fourth (58.27). Chennai occupies the fifth position with a safety index of 57.26.

Gurugram fares worst among Indian cities with a safety Index of 33.63 and a world rank of 173 while capital Delhi is second worst with a safety index of 33.63.

UAE’s Abu Dhabi is the world’s safest city according to Numbeo’s figures with a safety index of 88.46. 


Mangaluru is the least polluted city in India and the world’s 25th least polluted city with a pollution index of 23.62 while Delhi is the worst in  India and the fifth most polluted city worldwide with a pollution index of 92.47. 

Other than Mangaluru, all Indian cities are ranked below 100 in terms of pollution. New Zealand’s Wellington, the city with the best quality of life index is also the least polluted city with a pollution index of 10.54. 

Coimbatore, Pune and Ahmedabad are the other least polluted cities with pollution indices of 64.58, 74.67 and 78.35 respectively. 

Traffic commute time

Even in this regard, other than Mangaluru (world rank 70), all Indian cities on the list are ranked above 100. 

Kolkata has the worst traffic globally with a commute time index of 68.88 while Mumbai is the second worst Indian city and world’s third worst with a traffic commute time index of 58.98. Oman’s Muscat has the best traffic commute time according to the study at 17.56 while Mangaluru has a traffic time index of 34.01.

Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Gurugram are Indian cities with relatively lesser traffic commute time. 

Property price to income ratio  

Mumbai is the most expensive among Indian cities and the world's fifth most expensive city as far as price of properties is considered compared to the average income of the city dwellers.

Mangaluru and Hyderabad are the most affordable in the regard with a property price to income ratio of 5.19 and 7.17 respectively. Detroit in the US is the most affordable city in the world considering its property price to income ratio of 1.03.

You can access the full database here.