Singapore named most liveable Asian city for 20th consecutive year
Singapore continues to be the most liveable Asian city, according ECA International’s annual location ranking report.
Singapore has a low crime rate, excellent infrastructure, and a relatively low exposure to political tensions. ECA general manager for Asia. Singapore is still lagging behind other regional cities, but the gap has narrowed.
ECA’s Rankings evaluate cities globally to assess overall quality of life for expats in over 500 locations across the globe.
The ranking is determined by a number of liveability factors such as health services and housing, accessibility to social networks, recreational and leisure amenities, infrastructure, climate conditions, personal safety and tensions within the political system.
Hong Kong’s overall rankings has declined in the last five year but it remains among the top ten most liveable Asian Cities. Hong Kong’s liveability has increased since 2022. This is due to the removal of the final Covid-19 restriction.
Hong Kong ranked 77th out of 78 countries in terms of the liveability index for Asian expatriates in 2023, down from 17th overall in 2013. After the 2014 political demonstrations, we’ve seen that our assessment has worsened in terms of social-political tensions. Hong Kong is still attractive because of its excellent infrastructure, recreation options, low crime rate, and excellent facilities.
Hong Kong is ranked behind Singapore in ECA’s Asian rankings, as well as Japan and Busan, in the Korean Republic.
Its has a lower ranking than other Asian cities due to the inherent disruption of typhoons. It also suffers from relatively high levels pollution and difficulty finding suitable accommodations.
Tokyo is the most liveable Asian expat city despite natural disasters. Tokyo climbed from the 9th position in 2013 to become ECA’s second most liveable cities.
Mainland Chinese cities rose significantly in the rankings over the past decade despite a loss of momentum during COVID-19.
In the past few years, many Chinese cities have fallen in rankings due to zero COVID policy and related restrictions. Looking at current assessment in comparison we can clearly see that Chinese city rankings have increased significantly as living standards have improved.
It is still difficult to live in mainland China as there are many challenges, such high levels pollution, censorship or sub-optimal healthcare. Improvements to areas like transportation infrastructure and international schools are what have helped cities such Shenzhen move up the rankings from 152nd to 137th.
Yangon in Myanmar has been the location with the greatest fluctuation over the last decade. The rankings of Yangon improved from 225th in 2013 to 208th by 2018 after the reinstatement civil rule and the strong economic growth. In 2021, the military seized back power, and Yangon’s ranking dropped from 208th to 225th.
Other parts of Southeast Asia have seen improvements in health services, recreational facilities and transport infrastructure. They have become more attractive, like Hanoi (up to 144th from 160th), Phnom Penh (213th from 200th) and Jakarta (up to 196th from 213th).
New Zealand, Australia and Tokyo are the top cities outside Asia where Asian expatriates can live comfortably. Wellington and Adelaide tie for second with Tokyo. Eindhoven is the most highly rated European city (7th) while Vancouver, Canada is the top-rated North American city.