Joburg: Africa’s best city for youth

South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, has been ranked as the top African city for young people – and the 14th best city in the world.

This is according to the latest Youthful Cities index for 2014, which considers and ranks 25 of the top global cities from a youth perspective.

Canada’s Toronto was ranked as the top city in the world, followed by Berlin in Germany and New York in the USA.

Johannesburg placed 14th overall, ahead of Cairo (21st), Lagos (23rd), Nairobi (24th) and Kinshasa (25th) in Africa.

The index ranks cities across the globe based on 80 indicators in 16 categories. In order to give insight on life for youths in the cities – but not used to compile the index itself – Youthful Cities conducted a survey with 1,600 youths between the ages of 15 and 29.

“According to the UN, the empowerment of youth is vital for future prosperity of cities,” the report said.

“This is something that many youth intuitively know. Mindful of this, our aim has been to provide a breakdown of the places that youth and themselves better involved in the give and take of power.”

Good for youth, not for connectivity

Some of the categories researched for the index include civic participation, diversity, digital access, food and nightlife, economic status, financial access and youth employment, amongst others.

According to the index report, African cities, like those in Latin America, scored well in terms of civic participation, while Johannesburg scored best for fashion, art and diversity.

Johannesburg was voted the sixth most diverse city in the world and was the highest placed African city in six other categories.

In contrast, digital access and regional and global connectivity were poor performers. In the category of youth entrepreneurship (early stage entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurship incubators) – Johannesburg was ranked 18th globally.

Top 25 Youthful Cities

# City Index Score
1 Toronto 843.85
2 Berlin 836.44
3 New York 831.98
4 Dallas 784.06
5 Paris 775.25
6 Chicago 774.53
7 London 762.40
8 Los Angeles 754.39
9 Tokyo 735.91
10 Seoul 723.59
11 Beunos Aires 714.03
12 Mexico City 672.24
13 Rome 667.34
14 Johannesburg 663.98
15 Lima 655.44
16 Mumbai 647.82
17 Sao Paulo 646.97
18 Bogota 623.41
19 Istanbul 610.26
20 Shanghai 583.84
21 Cairo 579.57
22 Manila 564.67
23 Lagos 540.63
24 Nairobi 434.24
25 Kinshasa 331.95

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