Singapore has once again emerged as the most-liveable city for Asian expats for the eighteenth year, revealed the annual survey of consulting firm ECA ( Employment Conditions Abroad). However, the country’s lead has been narrowed due to worsening air pollution.
In the poll, Singapore has been placed ahead of Australian cities Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney in joint-second, with Osaka rounding out the top five.
Speaking about the factors responsible for Singapore’s top spot , Lee Quane, ECA’s regional director for Asia, said, “The factors that saw Singapore edge out regional rivals were low crime rates, decent medical facilities and excellent infrastructure.”
However, the gap has closed between the remaining global top 10 and Singapore over a five-year period, with cities in Australia and Japan improving in terms of their overall livability for Asian expatriates.
Quane added, “We have witnessed a gradual decline in Singapore’s overall quality of living in the past five years due to the deteriorating air pollution situation here, while cities such as Brisbane, Sydney and Osaka have all improved in terms of their overall livability.”
Between September and November 2015, Singapore experienced its worst haze episode, with the Pollutant Standards Index hitting hazardous levels.
For Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru, ECA attributed their lower rankings — they dropped two places to 27th and five places to 118th, respectively — to “an increased threat from terrorism in Malaysia”.
It is mention worthy that ECA's location ratings system objectively evaluates a host of factors to form an assessment of the overall quality of living in over 470 locations worldwide. The system helps companies establish appropriate allowances to compensate employees for the adjustment required when going on international assignment.
The survey includes several parameters including 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.