March 14, 2017 10:20 pm JST

Mercer ranks Singapore first in Asia again for living quality

Main factors -- infrastructure, stability, accommodation

JUSTINA LEE, Nikkei staff writer

Merlion in Singapore

SINGAPORE -- Singapore continues as the highest ranked city in Asia for quality of life, moving up one place globally to 25, according to Mercer, an international human resources consultancy.

The Mercer 2017 Quality of Living report surveyed 231 cities in terms of education, housing, stability, infrastructure, utilities, consumables, and other factors.

Multinational companies often use the survey to set compensation and hardship allowances for expatriate employees in over 450 cities for which Mercer provides recommendations.

For the eighth consecutive year, Vienna, the Austrian capital, took first place globally. In Asia-Pacific, New Zealand and Australia scored high, with Auckland and Sydney ranking 3rd and 10th globally.

Singapore was ranked first in the world for its city infrastructure. Its stability, good housing, and lack of natural disasters also contributed to the high overall Mercer ranking. Expatriates like Singapore for its political predictability, public transport, and luxury condominiums. Private education standards are also among the highest in Asia, and English is widely spoken.

The next five cities in Asia were all Japanese: Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya.

Hong Kong came 7th in Asia, followed by Seoul and Taipei. Mainland China cities failed to make the Asian top 10 -- Shanghai was ranked 12th. At 10th, Kuala Lumpur placed second in Southeast Asia and 86th globally.

Mario Ferraro, Mercer's global mobility leader for Asia, the Middle East, and Africa said Asia-Pacific continues to be "an attractive location for expats" for long and short-term assignments and career investment. However, employers need to be aware of the local environment and infrastructure due to the "huge disparity" in quality of living across the region.

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