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Singapore tops quality of living in Asia: survey

by Romesh Navaratnarajah Singapore has once again topped the list for quality of living across Asia, a position it also held last year, based on the latest Mercer survey.

The study, which serves as a guide for multinational firms and other organisations that compensate employees when assigning them abroad, ranked Singapore 25th globally, with Vienna, Zurich and Auckland taking the top three spots.

Apart from Auckland, a few other Asia-Pacific cities surpassed Singapore in the rankings – Sydney sits comfortably in 10th place, while Wellington, Melbourne and Perth took 13th, 18th and 21st spots respectively.

Other Asian cities that made the top 100 were Seoul, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai together with Kobe, Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama in Japan.

Notably, Mercer's index listed Singapore as the city with the best infrastructure in the world. Tied in second place were Munich and Frankfurt.

Infrastructure significantly affects the quality of living for expatriates, said Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer.

"While often taken for granted when functioning to a high standard, a city's infrastructure can generate severe hardship when it is deficient."

While some Asia-Pacific cities may have made significant investment in public services and infrastructure to lure foreigners, multinationals, tourists and expatriates, "a considerable number of Asian cities rank in the bottom quartile, mainly due to high political volatility, poor infrastructure and obsolete public services", noted Phil Stanley, Mercer's Asia-Pacific Global Mobility Leader.Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email

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