Editors' pick: Originally published Aug. 29.
Although "stability" is just one of five total factors that The Economist Intelligence Unit examined to come up with a picture of the least livable cities in the world, the prevalence of crime, theft, and conflict are trump cards that can determine whether or not people stand a good chance of living, as well as how they live. Like other livability indices, The Economist's rankings are derived both qualitatively and quantitatively. The least livable cities are each rated according to more than 30 factors in five categories -- the all-important stability (as mentioned before), health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. Half of the 10 least livable cities are African nations, and all of the 10 least livable cities are focused on two out of seven continents. Only one city in the "bottom 10" is there because of a five year decline of more than 25% in its ranking, which is substantial. One thing to keep in mind, always: these cities may have low livability scores, but they are the homes of millions of average people who manage to live there nonetheless -- and usually at great personal risk.