Singapore remains world’s most liveable city for East Asian expats

January 28, 2021

Merlion Singapore

Recognised for its ‘superior infrastructure, low pollution’ and successful handling of the pandemic, Singapore remains the world’s most liveable city for East Asia expatriates for the 15th year running. 

For 15 consecutive years, Singapore has continued to be ranked as the world’s most liveable city for East Asia expatriates by ECA International.

“Singapore is top of the liveability rankings for the 15th year in a row as its superior infrastructure, low pollution and large expatriate communities continue to appeal to overseas workers,” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International. 

“Moreover, while Singapore imposed a circuit breaker to manage the outbreak of COVID-19 within its borders in 2020, the scale of its lockdown was less severe than other locations in the region.”

Wellington in New Zealand was ranked second, while the three Japanese cities of Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo were tied at third place.

Recommended article: Expat Guide: Buying and Financing A Home As A Foreigner in Singapore

Denmark’s Copenhagen, Yokohama in Japan and Auckland in New Zealand were also tied in sixth place.

Austin in the USA clinched the ninth place, while Stavanger in Norway and Aarhus in Denmark were tied in 10th place.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong significantly rebounded in rankings, jumping to 58th place from 93rd in 2019, as COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the city was softened by the decline in socio-political tensions and crime rates.

“Hong Kong has rebounded in our latest liveability rankings after the protests seen throughout 2019 abated last year. Disruptions to the transportation network due to the protests recovered while crime rates fell,” said Quane.

“Moreover, Hong Kong was spared from typhoons of a scale similar to those that caused disruption to the city in 2019.”

Cities in Australia, on the other hand, all dropped in the rankings. Adelaide and Brisbane fell out of the top 10 most liveable places, while Sydney dropped from third place to take the 21st spot this year.

Suggested read: Guide to Buying Overseas Property in Australia

Many European cities also tumbled down the rankings as COVID-19 restrictions dampened liveability scores. Major cities like Lisbon and Rome dropped by more than 20 places from 2019, while Paris fell out of the top 100 most liveable places for the first time.

Cities within the United States climbed up the rankings on lack of strict measures. Eight US cities made it to the top 50 and 27 were listed in the top 100 most liveable locations.

Beirut in Lebanon registered the biggest change in ranking as it fell by more than 40 places.

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