Singapore is once again rated the most liveable location for Asian expatriates, having claimed the top spot every year since global mobility experts ECA International, began their liveability rankings in 2005.
These were among the latest findings of their annual “location ratings survey”.
Meanwhile, George Town and Kuala Lumpur have risen to 97th and 98th in the rankings, respectively.
“Both Thailand and Malaysia continue to develop and improve their infrastructure, resulting in steady improvements in their liveability scores over recent years,” noted Lee Quane, regional director-Asia for ECA International, yesterday.
“In particular, advances in road and transport infrastructure have improved access to areas in these countries that were once considered far more remote.”
ECA International’s system measures the quality of expatriate living conditions in over 480 locations around the world, as they aim to arrive at a fair and consistent assessment of the level of difficulty experienced by expatriates as they adapt to a new location.
The factors evaluated include climate, availability of health services, housing and utilities, isolation, access to a social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, personal safety, political tensions and air quality.
Quane said that several factors make Singapore the ideal location, such as access to great facilities, a low crime rate, good quality healthcare and education, as well as a large expat population already living in the island state. Although many cities in Asia offer similar benefits to overseas workers, Singapore clings to the top spot, with no indication it will soon drop in the rankings.
Hong Kong has dropped 12 places in the latest survey, and now shares the 41st most liveable city designation for expats coming from elsewhere in Asia.
The port city slipped down this year’s rankings due to the disruption and considerable damage caused by typhoon Mangkhut in September 2018.
Though there was no loss of life, it was the most devastating storm in recent times and caused an estimated US$1 billion in building and infrastructure damages.
“Therefore, Hong Kong’s liveability score has decreased to reflect the difficulties caused by typhoon Mangkhut,” Quane |said.
Japanese cities continue to perform strongly, with all four of the nation’s locations included in the rankings featuring in the top 10. This is despite Osaka’s score dropping slightly due to the effects of typhoon Jebi, which caused significant damage to the city.
The only other Asian location to experience a drop in liveability ranking as significant as Hong Kong was Colombo in Sri Lanka, which fell 12 places to 194th overall.
Outside of Asia, cities in Australia and New Zealand offer the best quality of life for Asian workers, with Brisbane and Sydney holding a joint second place in the rankings.
“Australian and New Zealand locations always tend to score well for Asian expatriates, due to the high level of infrastructure and facilities,” Quane said. “This is also because they are geographically closer to the home locations of Asian workers, as compared to cities in Europe or further afield.”
Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, is the most liveable European location for Asian expats, and joint 10th overall.
“Copenhagen is consistently high in our liveability rankings and is the most liveable European location, as it was last year. Copenhagen scores well across the board, due to low pollution and crime levels, access to good facilities and schools, and excellent healthcare,” said Quane.