via ECA International
Singapore retains pole position as No.1 place for Asians to live for 11th consecutive year
24 Mar 2010
- Australian and Japanese locations offer some of the best quality of life for Asians
- European locations dominate the top 30
- Air quality and health facilities remain an issue in many Asian locations.Singapore continues to offer the best living environment for Asian assignees, according to the latest Location Ratings for expatriate living conditions published by ECA International, the world’s leader in the development and provision of solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world. This is the 11th year in a row that Singapore has held pole position.Published annually, ECA International’s Location Ratings system is used to assist International HR departments to establish expatriate allowances which compensate staff for the difficulties of adapting to living in their assignment location. The ratings are based on an analysis of living standards for more than 400 locations globally based on categories including climate, health services, housing and utilities, isolation, social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure, personal safety, political tensions and air quality."Singapore’s high quality infrastructure and health facilities, combined with low health risks, air pollution, crime rates and a cosmopolitan population help make the city an easy place for Asian assignees to live in,"explains Lee Quane, Regional Director, Asia, ECA International.The Japanese cities of Kobe, Yokohama and Tokyo along with Hong Kong are the other Asian locations in the top 15.
The Australian cities of Canberra and Melbourne also feature in the top 15 for Asian expatriates as well as New Zealand’s Wellington. These are joined by the European locations of Copenhagen, Dublin, Antwerp, Brussels and Bern along with the Canadian city of Vancouver.
Baghdad (254) remains the least favourable location to live in, followed by Kabul (253) and Karachi (252)."According to our latest Expatriate Salary Management Survey, over 70% of companies will pay a location allowance when there is a need to compensate for the difficulties associated with adapting to a new living environment," says Quane."When we analyse quality of living we take into account the home and destination country," continues Quane. "The impact of a number of factors, including distance from home and differences in culture, language and climate, will vary according to where someone comes from. This helps to explain why although Singapore ranks at the top for Asians, it ranks 55th for someone coming from Western Europe. However, these particular factors cannot be considered in isolation. Scores given for better air quality and health facilities in a number of the top ranking non-Asian locations, for example, can counterbalance the scores awarded for distance from home. Location ratings are about looking at the new environment in its totality and its merits relative to home."
AsiaJoining the top five Asian locations are Taipei (55), Macau (57), Kuala Lumpur (62), Bangkok (62) and Georgetown (62).Shanghai (77) tops the list of mainland Chinese locations in the survey, followed by Nanjing (97) and Beijing (100). While China has generally seen improvements over the past few years, the country’s air quality and health facilities remain an issue. The level of personal security, recreation and education facilities remain mixed throughout the country with cities such as Wuhan (142) and Chongqing (154) scoring less favourably in these areas compared with Shanghai and Beijing."Improvements in the quality of living in China have been significant in recent years," notes Quane. "We now find that in terms of the availability of decent housing, access to recreation and low crime rates, Beijing and Shanghai are on a par with Taipei, Hong Kong and Singapore. However, the persistence of issues such as poor air quality, as well as less advanced medical and transportation facilities, contribute to these locations ranking lower within the region and globally."
Taipei which ranks 6th of the 49 Asian locations studied and 55th globally is among the locations whose score has improved the most this year. The city generally scores better in terms of air quality than most Asian locations. It also does better regarding the availability of goods and services, recreation and socio-political tensions than mainland China locations.Hong Kong’s long-standing air pollution problems contribute to its position behind Singapore and the Japanese locations. Air pollution in the SAR is worse than most of the other Asian cities analysed and it remains in 5th position within the region. However, in other areas, including housing and schooling, it offers good quality facilities for the international community. Slight improvement in an already good transportation and communications infrastructure has contributed to a rise in the ranking since last year from 11th to 8th position.
In India, Bangalore (145) scores the most favourably ahead of Chennai (149), Mumbai (156) and New Delhi (185). Compared with these locations, Kolkata (206) does less well in terms of availability of schools, housing and goods for expatriates. Health facilities remain an issue in all the Indian locations.Air pollution remains a significant problem in a number of Asian locations. New Delhi, Beijing and Hong Kong are amongst the worst locations studied in terms of air quality. Health facility provision is also a problem for many parts of the region.
GloballyFor Asians coming to live and work in Europe, Copenhagen, ranked 5th globally, offers the best quality of living followed by Dublin (10) and the Belgian cities of Antwerp (13) and Brussels jointly with the Swiss capital, Bern. London, Barcelona and Stockholm share 37th position ahead of Paris and Rome which share 46th place.
Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana (48) tops the Central and Eastern European locations followed by Croatia’s Zagreb (60). Prague (61) and Warsaw (84) are among those locations to improve the most over the year, mainly as a result of improvements in personal safety there.For Asians going to North America, Vancouver, ranked 10th, is the most favourable destination. The Canadian city is followed by San Francisco (16) and Miami (30). Within South America, Puerto Rico, in 62nd position, offers Asians the best quality of living.
Security and pollution are major issues in a number of South American locations. Santiago (91) in Chile along with Mexico City (149) receive some of the worst scores for air quality. A number of the continent’s locations are among the worst in the survey for personal security including Sao Paolo (127), Rio do Janeiro (127), Mexico City and Caracas (181).Africa is also home to some of the most difficult places for Asian assignees to adapt to living in. Socio-political tensions as well as personal security issues can be particularly problematic. Gaborone in Botswana ranked 84th offers the best quality of life for Asians coming to the African continent. South African locations including football World Cup destinations, Cape Town (103) Johannesburg (117) are among the top ten most liveable of the African locations analysed. However, personal safety is still a major issue.In the Middle East, Manama (68) offers the best quality of life followed by Dubai (71) and Abu Dhabi (74).
The top 15 best locations in the world for Asians to live
World Rank 2009
1 Singapore 1 2 Sydney 2 3 Kobe 3 4 Yokohama 4 5 Tokyo 6 5 Copenhagen 6 7 Canberra 8 8 Hong Kong 11 8 Melbourne 4 10 Dublin 11 10 Vancouver 9 10 Wellington 9 13 Antwerp 11 13 Brussels 11 13 Bern 11
Global Rank 2010
1 Singapore 1 2 Kobe 3 3 Yokohoma 4 4 Tokyo 5 5 Hong Kong 8 6 Taipei 55 7 Macau 57 8 Kuala Lumpur 62 8 Bangkok 62 8 Georgetown 62 11 Seoul 71 12 Shanghai 77 13 Bandar Seri Begawan 94 14 Nanjing 97 15 Beijing 100 16 Xiamen 105 17 Senzhen 115 18 Guangzhou 117 19 Tianjin 121 20 Hanoi 123 21 Dalian 124 22 Ho Chi Minh City 126 23 Chengdu 138 23 Depensar 138 25 Metro Manila 142 25 Wuhan 142 27 Bangalore 145 28 Ventiane 147 29 Chennai 149 30 Chongqing 154 31 Shenyang 156 31 Mumbai 156 33 Ulaanbaatar 162 34 Xi'an 164 34 Colombo 164 36 Phnom Penh 171 37 New Delhi 185 38 Jakarta 191 39 Yangon 198 40 Kolkata 206 41 Kathmandu 210 41 Surabaya 210 43 Tashkent 216 44 Dhaka 229 45 Ashgabat 232 46 Islamabad 243 47 Pyongyang 246 48 Karachi 252 49 Kabul 253