Singapore drops out of top 10 liveable cities in APAC; loses to Hong Kong

Rachel Chan

According to this year’s Global Liveability Index, the world’s most liveable city is Vienna in Austria, and the least liveable city is Dakar in Senegal. Pull the lens closer to the Asia-Pacific, and the most livable city in this region would be Melbourne, also the second-most livable city in the world, and last year’s chart-topper. But Singapore? We are at #37 on the world list, and #11 in Asia-Pacific. Not even top 10!

Credit: SCMP

Credit: SCMP

Credit: SCMP

Credit: SCMP

The study, which polled 180 cities worldwide, ranked cities located in Australia, Canada and Japan as the top most liveable cities in the world . The latest study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a British-based research and analysis group, ranked Singapore at 37th, and Hong Kong at 35th. Singapore dropped two places from last year while Hong Kong has raced ahead by 10 places.

Simon Baptist, global chief economist and managing director of the unit in Asia, told the South China Morning Post that the factors which affected the ranking of the two cities are stability, culture and environment, education, health care and infrastructure. Baptist said that Hong Kong did better on cultural and environmental issues, whereas Singapore excelled in housing supply and health care services. In the same survey last year, Singapore was ranked at 35th, better than Hong Kong’s 45th, due to improvements in education.

Looks like the slight drop in rankings this year is probably temporary, though. In the long run, Hong Kong would be exposed to more risks if mainland China were to exert more control over the city and restrict freedom of speech, said Baptist.

He said Hong Kong’s future was entwined with China’s, and its function would be increasingly aimed at the provision of services to the mainland.

“The [regional role] of Hong Kong will become smaller, and Singapore is [becoming the choice of Asia-Pacific headquarters for multinational companies] because of its quality of life.”

Source: South China Morning Post

Featured image credit: Shutterstock

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