Developing cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru can be distinctly identified for their high speed of change but "lower quality of life", a report by global consulting firm BCG (Boston Consulting Group) on the 'Most Desirable Cities to Live In Around the World' reveals.

Developing cities like Delhi and Mumbai are rapidly advancing cities, it says. Their urban populations vary in size, and they are in countries that have a GDP per capita income that is below average. "These cities can be distinctly identified for their high speed of change but lower quality of life. Cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Nairobi are part of this group," says the report.

In the higher education sphere, Delhi was found to be lagging behind Mecca, Cairo, and Johannesburg, with ratios lower than 0.5 due to the mismatch of skills and the needs of respective economies, provoking unemployment.

Bengaluru scored the highest among developing cities in dimensions like economic opportunities, quality of life, social capital, interaction with authorities and speed of change. The city was followed by Mumbai and Delhi, Ho Chi Minh City, Cairo, Nairobi, and Lagos.

The report draws on the surveys of more than 50,000 people in 79 cities around the world to determine what makes urban residents want to move, and conversely, what makes them want to stay.

London and New York ranked number one and two as the most desirable mega-centres in 2022, followed by Shanghai, Beijing, and Los Angeles. While the two cities performed well in terms of economic opportunities, quality of life, social capital, and interactions with authorities, they scored lower on the speed of change, signalling their top spots could be vulnerable in the coming years.

"As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease, more residents are moving between cities—50% of urban residents have already relocated to a new city, and 48% are considering moving in the future," the report says.

Vladislav Boutenko, a BCG managing director and senior partner, and co-author of the report says relocating is easier now than ever before. "The challenge for urban leaders is to determine what makes their residents happy so they can retain current residents and attract new ones."

For cities with an urban population of more than 3 million people, Washington, DC, Singapore, and San Francisco emerged as the group’s leaders. While cruiser-weight cities have higher scores in the interactions-with-authorities dimension, they did not fare as well in social capital and speed of change.

The middleweight cities — defined as medium-sized cities with an urban population of fewer than 3 million people — performed the best, with 18 of the 28 cities receiving overall scores above-the-median score, with Copenhagen, Vienna, and Amsterdam taking the top three spots.

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