SINGAPORE - Singapore has come out tops as the country with the highest quality of living in Asia-Pacific, with the highest rank in personal safety.
Following Singapore's lead in the ranking are five Japanese cities, namely Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka and Nagoya, according to Mercer's quality of living survey. After these cities are Hong Kong and Seoul, which rose two places from the year before from returning political stability following the arrest of its president last year.
The survey also highlighted notable cities in South-east Asia, such as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta. Phnom Penh ranks lowest for personal safety, while safety continues to be an issue in the central Asian cities of Almaty, Tashkent, Ashgabat, Dushanbe and Bishkek.
In mainland China, notable cities include Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. As for Southern Asia, the Indian cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru remained unchanged from last year's ranking for overall quality of living. Chennai has also been ranked the region's safest city, while Karachi is the least safe.
Meanwhile, New Zealand and Australia continue to rank highly in quality of living, with Auckland, Sydney, Wellington and Melbourne all remaining in the top 20. Australia's major cities all rank within the top 50 for safety, with New Zealand cities Auckland and Wellington topping the safety ranking for Oceania in joint ninth place.
The survey included 231 cities. The data was analysed between September and November 2018, with regular updates to account for changing circumstances. Revisions reflect significant political, economic, and environmental developments.
Mario Ferraro, regional practice leader for Mercer global mobility, Asia, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said Singapore is "continuously improving" the standard of living of its residents with greater connectivity and sustainability of resources.
"Considering its relatively small geographic footprint and the scarcity in resources, Singapore has had to think differently to remain competitive against neighbouring emerging markets," Mr Ferraro said.
"We continue to see huge forward-thinking policies that have enabled Singapore to develop economically and infrastructurally, bringing benefits to its residents, whilst making the city Asia's most attractive destination for foreign talent," he added.