, Singapore

Singapore remains top city for East Asian expats

This is its 15th year holding the crown.

For the 15th year running, Singapore was crowned as the top liveable city for East Asian expatriates in the Asia-Pacific region, having been first every year since 2005, according to the latest survey results released by data company ECA International.

The city’s excellent infrastructure and amenities, low crime rate, and large expat community continues to impress.

“These aspects attribute to Singapore’s prime spot in the rankings, and the country will most likely continue to hold the top position in the considerable future,” said Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International.

Also read: Singapore is expats' top pick for relocation: study

In contrast, Hong Kong tumbled 52 spots in the rankings to end at the 93rd spot, its livability score tarnished by ongoing socio-political tensions in the city.

“Not only are the heightened political tensions worrying for expatriates living in the region, the protests that have regularly taken place since mid-2019 have had a negative effect on areas of everyday life, which are often taken for granted. This includes disruptions to Hong Kong’s transportation infrastructure and an increase in crime rates since the protests began,” noted Quane.

As a result, Seoul and Taipei have overtaken Hong Kong in the rankings. Meanwhile, Thai and Vietnamese cities also continued to rise.

Australian cities also saw drops in the rankings after livability scores worsened in every location. However, all seven Australian cities in the list still feature in the top 30 destinations for East Asian workers.

Also read: Singapore expat pay package hit $325,000 in 2018

Copenhagen in Denmark remains the most liveable city for East Asian expats outside of the APAC region. Cities in Scandinavia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland were particularly hailed for their transportation system, high standard of healthcare and stability.

Meanwhile, US cities were a mixed bag, with New York and San Francisco rising in the rankings as the number of violent crimes dropped in recent years; whilst Boston fell in the rankings as its booming economy meant that there is greater competition for housing available for expats.

ECA’s Location Ratings system assesses the overall quality of living in over 490 locations globally. Factors assessed include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; natural phenomena; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions; and air quality.

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