SINGAPORE: Singapore retained its top position as the city with the highest quality of living in Asia for expatriates according to an annual Mercer index that was released on Tuesday (Mar 20).
Globally, Singapore ranked 25th, after cities like Vienna - that topped the list for the ninth year running - and Amsterdam, which was ranked 12th in the Mercer Quality of Living survey.
The findings are based on individual reports from each city that were largely analysed between September and November last year. The index is normally used to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.
“An increasingly diverse workforce is both more mobile and digital with highly diverging requirements and aspirations in terms of career, lifestyle and ultimately where and how they want to work.
"Companies need to consider these factors in their value proposition to both their local and their expatriate employees," said senior partner and president of Mercer’s career business, Ilya Bonic.
Singapore's quality of living and infrastructure have consistently outperformed the other cities in Asia, even though the index shows that other Asian cities have seen an "exponential increase in living standards" due to a "rapidly expanding middle class and more affluent populations".
Other Asian cities like Tokyo and Kobe tied at the 50th spot, and Shanghai came in at the 103rd spot. Singapore ranked higher than Hong Kong (71st), Seoul (79th) and Taipei (84th).
Shanghai had the highest increase in quality of living and its standard grew by 15.7 per cent. New Delhi and Guangzhou also showed significant increases at 13.8 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively.
In Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur was ranked 85th, Bangkok was in the 132nd spot and Jakarta ranked 142nd.
Dubai ranked the highest for quality of living across the Middle East and Africa, while Vancouver took the top spot among the Americas.
The top five cities on Mercer's index are Vienna, Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver.
In a separate index by Mercer, cities' sanitation was also analysed as they are deemed to be "important aspects of a city’s attractiveness for both talent and businesses", according to Mercer.
Honolulu topped the sanitation index globally and Singapore ranked 57th. Regionally in Asia, Singapore came in fourth place for sanitation after Japanese cities Kobe, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo.