Singapore top in Asia again for quality of life for expats: Mercer

It may be the most expensive city in the world for expatriates but Singapore is also once again the top city in Asia for this group when it comes to quality of life, going by a Mercer survey. -- ST PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH
It may be the most expensive city in the world for expatriates but Singapore is also once again the top city in Asia for this group when it comes to quality of life, going by a Mercer survey. -- ST PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH

SINGAPORE - It may be the most expensive city in the world for expatriates but Singapore is also once again the top city in Asia for this group when it comes to quality of life, going by a Mercer survey.

Mercer conducts its Quality of Living Survey annually to help multinational companies and other employers determine expatriate pay packages when posting staff overseas.

It released its 2015 ranking on Wednesday placing Singapore 26th globally but the highest in Asia, followed in the region by three Japanese cities - Tokyo (44), Kobe (47) and Yokohama (48).

Singapore on Tuesday was named the world's most expensive city for expatriates for the second year running by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Mercer has named Singapore the top in Asia for quality of living for several years, most recently in its 2014 survey.

The global human resource consultancy evaluates local living conditions in more than 440 cities, according to factors such as political stability, level of crime, banking services, media censorship and housing, as well as availability of services such as health care, education and transport.

There were 12 Asia-Pacific cities in the top 50 but European cities dominated the top ten places.

Vienna has the world's best quality of living, according with Zurich, Auckland and Munich in second, third, and fourth places respectively. In fifth place, Vancouver is the highest-ranking city in North America and the region's only city in the top 10.

Other key cities in Asia include Hong Kong (70), Seoul (72), Taipei (83), Shanghai (101), and Beijing (118).

Behind Singapore, the second highest-ranking city in Southeast Asia is Kuala Lumpur at No 84, with Bangkok (117), Manila (136), and Jakarta (140). In South Asia, Colombo (132), ranks highest and is followed by emerging Indian cities Hyderabad (138) and Pune (145).

"The survey results show that Asia-Pacific is a hugely diverse and dynamic region," said Mario Ferraro, global mobility leader for Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) at Mercer. "Within the same region there are some stark differences in quality of living, which organisations should take into account when deploying expatriates across borders."

At 230th place, Baghdad was the city with the poorest quality of living in the world.