VIENNA: Singapore was ranked as the best place to live in Asia for expatriates and 25th best in the world in the 19th Quality of Living survey by consulting firm Mercer's released on Tuesday (Mar 14).
Vienna, Austria's grand capital on the Danube river, was ranked first for the eighth year in a row, while Baghdad is again considered the worst place to live.
Two Japanese cities, Tokyo and Kobe, were the next highest-ranked Asian cities after Singapore at 47th and 50th globally. Hong Kong came in at 71st place, Kuala Lumpur 86th, Shanghai 102nd, Bangkok 131st, Manila 135th and Jakarta 143rd.
The survey also includes a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports. Singapore topped the list ahead of Frankfurt and Munich, while Baghdad and Port au Prince ranked last.
City infrastructure plays an important role when multinationals decide where to establish locations abroad and send expatriate workers, Mercer’s said in a press release.
“Easy access to transportation, reliable electricity, and drinkable water are all important considerations when determining hardship allowances based on differences between a given assignee’s home and host locations,” it said.
The survey of 231 cities helps companies and organisations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport, according to its website.
Global centres London, Paris, Tokyo and New York City did not make the top 30, lagging behind most big German, Scandinavian, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian cities.
San Francisco, placed 29th, was the highest entry in the US. Top of the list in Africa was South Africa's Durban at 87.