HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore is the most livable city for expats

A survey said expats picked Singapore due to low crime rates, quality schools and healthcare, and low pollution.

In over a year, Singapore stayed as the most livable city in the world for expats, ECA International revealed in its Location Ratings survey.

ECA International Asia regional director Lee Quane said, “This is due to a combination of factors such as low crime rates, easy access to good quality schools and healthcare and lower levels of pollution than a lot of other locations in the region.”

However, some factors like salary are weighing expats' choices down. The personal income of expats in Singapore dropped 15% from US$138,641 to US$117,904 in 2017, HSBC revealed. It also slid down the rankings of the world's highest expat salaries from fourth place in 2016 to 10th place in 2017. However, 60% of expats in Singapore said they could still save more money than they could at home in 2016.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong ranked 28th in ECA’s Asian rankings for expat quality of life. Quane said, “Hong Kong has failed to see an improvement on its score from last year and continues to suffer from long-term air quality and pollution issues which have seen it stay in the low position in the rankings”.

The majority of Chinese cities saw a fall in ECA’s rankings. Beijing saw the biggest drop, falling 10 places to 134th on the list.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur features at a lowly 126th in ECA’s rankings for Asian expats. However, Quane noted, the Malaysian capital scores well in categories such as utilities and the availability of housing, so there are still positives for any Asian expatriate moving to Kuala Lumpur.”

Taipei is the highest ranked Taiwanese city, featuring at joint 65th on the list.

Japanese cities continue to perform strongly in the liveability rankings, with all the surveyed Japanese locations featuring in the top 40 places for Asian expatriates.

Quane said, “Japanese cities are consistently among the best locations for Asian expatriates to relocate to. This is due to, among many things, the excellent facilities and infrastructure, as
well as the prevalence of a range of goods and services. Tokyo especially has become increasingly attractive to expats and climbs into the top 10 this year.”

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