Dhaka, the bustling capital of Bangladesh, was ranked first on the list of the slowest cities in the world, according to a new study that analysed traffic in over 1,200 cities in 152 countries.
Besides, Mymensingh and Chattogram ranked 9th and 12th, respectively, on the list of 20 slowest cities in the world, according to the study published as a working paper titled "The fast, the slow, and the congested: urban transportation in rich and poor countries" by the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research.
Two Nigerian cities, Lagos and Ikordu, ranked second and third on the list, followed by Manila, the capital of the Philippines, Biwandi, a town in India, and Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal.
India has the most cities in the top 20, with eight in total.
Researchers used data from Google Maps to analyse traffic in more than 1,200 global cities with populations over 300,000.
According to Google Maps, a 9-km trip from Dhaka airport to Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed Park, in Gulshan-2, can take as long as 55 minutes, whereas a trip of the same distance in Flint, Michigan, the world's fastest city, from the airport to the Sloan Museum of Discovery, takes about nine minutes, writes Time magazine in its report published on this particular study.
According to the report, 19 of the top 20 fastest cities are in the United States.
However, the study said the speed of travel in a city is only partially related to the amount of traffic on its roads. Other factors, such as the layout and quality of a city's roads and natural obstacles like hills and rivers, play a significant role in how fast cars can drive, the report adds.
"The slowest cities aren't necessarily the most congested, and most congested aren't the slowest," Prottoy Akbar, an economist at Aalto University in Finland and the lead author of the paper, told the Time magazine.
The data set by Akbar and his fellow researchers excluded China and South Korea because the app cannot collect data in those countries, while a few other cities, like Pyongyang, North Korea, were dropped because of unreliable data.
According to the paper, the fastest cities are almost all mid-sized municipalities in the US—like Flint, Memphis, and Wichita, Kans—where highways are wide and plentiful.
Of the 100 fastest cities in the world, 86 are in the US, including 19 of the top 20 (the exception is Windsor, Ontario, across the Canadian border from Detroit).
Even relatively poor cities in wealthy countries are fast, according to the study.