Singapore, recently revealed as the most expensive city in the world, according to Mercer’s 2014 Quality of living survey, also has the highest quality of living in Asia. Right behind Singapore in the Asian rankings are Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama and Osaka.

I don’t know about you, but to me this is quite a fair reflection on life in Singapore. The survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit might have it’s merits in labeling Singapore as the most expensive, but it was quite heavily influenced by the cost of owning a car – which truthfully in Singapore is not really necessary. I know the trains break down every now and then and I even find myself cursing under my breath at times, but it could be worse… much worse… and we don’t really need to look, or go very far, to experience worse.

Yes it IS expensive…. but what I am glad for is the standard of living. I’m talking infrastructure, health services (people keep flying here to get treated… something must be good right?), a growing Arts scene, blazing internet (but it never seems fast enough does it – I’m on 500MB) and the fact that one of the stresses I have is not having pre-ordered Elder Scrolls Online yet. Can seem quite trivial to someone living in Dushanbe, Tajikistan – which just happens to have the lowest quality of life in Asia.

That’s what the Mercer survey takes into consideration.

The judging criteria includes:

  • Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services)
  • Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
  • Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
  • Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools)
  • Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc)
  • Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
  • Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
  • Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
  • Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

While we’re not top of the world on this list, Asia is a start. Maybe we’ll climb… maybe we won’t… but I hope we do.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Top Cities – Quality of Living

World

Vienna (1)
Zurich (2)
Auckland (3)
Munich (4)
Vancouver (5)

Asia

Singapore (25)
Tokyo (43)
Kobe (47)
Yokohama (49)
Osaka (57)

Political instability, high crime levels, and elevated air pollution are a few factors that can be detrimental to the daily lives of expatriate employees their families and local residents.
Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer

The Mercer 2014 Quality of Living Survey can be found here.

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