Worlds Worst Slums

  1. Cite Soleil, Port Au Prince, Haiti 400,000 (Poorest Country in Western Hemisphere,Hurricanes, Earthquakes,Duvalier killed 30,000 people, 50% is illiterate)

2. West Point, Monrovia 75,000

3. Nyanga Cape Town Unemployment 70%

4. La Perla, San Juan

5. Ciudad Bolivar, Bogota People construct their own houses

6. Spanishtown, Kingston – 160,000 138 murders

7. Iztapalapa, Mexico City

8. East Saint Louis, Illinois

9. Petare, Caracas

10. Chamelocon, San Pedro Da Sula

World’s largest slums


1. Nezachalcoitza  4 million people

As the railroad and population grew in the 1900’s, so did the barrio of Neza-Chalco-Itza in Mexico City, Mexico. Unable to meet the increased housing demand due to large expenses and the sudden change in population, this settlement just outside of Mexico City is now one of the largest slums in the world. Despite the efforts of the Mexican Government to create more sustainable housing by collaborating with organizations such Infonavit and FOVISSSTE, the demand for affordable housing is still on a steady rise

2. Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya

With a population of approximately 2.5 million dwellers, the slum of Kibera, located 7km southwest of Nairobi, consists of 200 settlements and occupies just 6% of Niarobi’s total land. Completely void of any cartographical context, its many unpaved roads see thousands of Kiberians walk many miles to and from work, passing metal homes and stores made from scrap barrels fashioned by hand. Only 20% of Kibera has the luxury of electricity. Water, until only recently, was collected from dam sources ripe with diseases such as typhoid and cholera. Any settler of the Kiberian slum must do without any government-owned hospitals or clinics.

3. Orangi, Karachi  1.8 million

The largest slum in Asia, Orangi Town, a settlement negatively effected largely by the growth of globalization, has over 80% of its residents working in the “informal sector.” Due to a lack of sustainable water supplies, settlers are forced to rely on community groups and each other for clean water, purchased from water tanks. Earning enough money to supply for their basic needs or to purchase adequate land is among the biggest hurdles settlers face in Orangi Town. Although migrants are more ready and willing to solve their various problems, which are plentiful, old-world settlers are less likely.

4. Manshiet, Cairo, Egypt  1.5 million



Due to the prevalence of high-income housing that low-income families simply can not afford, the 3 million slum dwellers of Greater Cairo, Egypt, are unable to get on the property ladder and are forced to live without water, electricity, plumbing or a sustainable food supply. Finding shelter wherever they can—including graveyard tombs and abandoned urban apartment buildings—Cairo’s largest slum, Manshiet, finds home to more than 1 million impoverished people. Only recently has the Egyptian government recognized these “deteriorated and underserved urban residential areas,” of which the poorest dwellers are not isolated, but mixed with middle-income and high-income residents.

5. Dharavi, Mumbai 1 million

With huts as big as 12.5 meters-squared, Dharavi consists of families who migrated there after the 1960s; 40% of the household here belong to the “economically weak” and 39% belong to the low-income category. “Chawls” and “pavement dwellers” make up this gargantuan community of 1 million, with many residents of 50-years or older who have little to no education. Water is extremely scarce, coming mostly from informal taps, although this source is inadequate. Despite a $20 million grant in 1985 to reconstruct Dharavi, this slum remains one of the biggest and poorest in all of Asia.

6. Cite Soleil, Port Au Prince, Haiti 400,000


With a population of mostly children and young adults, Cité Soleil is the most densely-populated “shanty-town” in all of Haiti. Diseases such as AIDS and many forms of violence terrorize many of its citizens whose life expectancy is only 52. Many of its residents originate from La Saline slum after it was a destroyed by a devastating fire. Armed gangs and almost a complete lack of public servants make this commune one of the poorest and most dangerous in the Americas.

7. Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa


This slum, located south of iKhusi Primary School on the Cape Flats of South Africa, was founded in 1985 and its population is the result of the historical apartheid and its end during the Second World War. A location of extreme poverty and disease, the biggest risk factors for this informal settlement are crime, AIDS and a huge 80% unemployment rate. Conditions here are so dismal that infestation has become a major and often over-looked problem. According to a gruesome article published by UK-based tabloid publication The Daily Mail in 2011, a baby was attacked here by one of the townships’ giant rats that can grow to as large as 3-feet long.

8. Petare, Caracas, Venezuela 370,000


9. Rocinha 70,000

Located on a steep hillside in Rio de Janeiro, Rocinha is the largest slum of a group that totals more than 11 million people. The vast majority of the dwellings are made from raw material such as hard rock, unlike the typical metal constructions in many of the slums in Africa and Asia. Classified as a favela neighbourhood, this slum is fortunate enough to have access to basic plumbing, transportation and, at one time, a McDonald’s. Known for police bribery and under-the-table deals between authorities and drug traffickers, this community makes a large profit in the illegal drug trade.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s