Mercer’s Quality of Living Rankings for 2010 are out and Singapore tops Asian cities which is not surprising as the top thing that comes to my mind is that we have a very low crime rate and this survey applies to expatriates.
Singapore is 28 while Perth is 21, 7 spots higher and no wonder so many Singaporeans are migrating there. My relatives and friends too. Within Australia, Sydney is at number 10 while Melbourne is at 18. I guess they both beat Perth, as they are more vibrant, dynamic cities and Perth is a bit of a sleepy town (but I love sleepy towns).
I have never been to Vienna but I can totally understand why Switzerland almost tops the list and European countries dominate the top 10.
I am a bit stunned that Singapore beat Adelaide, Paris, Brisbane, London, Tokyo, Milan, Yokohama, Chicago (land of Oprah) and Seattle? B keeps telling me what a lovely city Seattle is. Does the food, night life and safety factor count for that much? I have a feeling this list applies more to expats who love the sun, and people in well paying jobs, who have a generally great life here.
1 VIENNA AUSTRIA 108.6
2 ZURICH SWITZERLAND 108
3 GENEVA SWITZERLAND 107.9
4 VANCOUVER CANADA 107.4
4 AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND 107.4
6 DUSSELDORF GERMANY 107.2
7 FRANKFURT GERMANY 107
7 MUNICH GERMANY 107
9 BERN SWITZERLAND 106.5
10 SYDNEY AUSTRALIA 106.3
11 COPENHAGEN DENMARK 106.2
12 WELLINGTON NEW ZEALAND 105.9
13 AMSTERDAM NETHERLANDS 105.7
14 OTTAWA CANADA 105.5
15 BRUSSELS BELGIUM 105.4
16 TORONTO CANADA 105.3
17 BERLIN GERMANY 105
18 MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA 104.8
19 LUXEMBOURG LUXEMBOURG 104.6
20 STOCKHOLM SWEDEN 104.5
21 PERTH AUSTRALIA 104.2
21 MONTREAL CANADA 104.2
23 HAMBURG GERMANY 104.1
24 NURNBURG GERMANY 103.9
24 OSLO NORWAY 103.9
26 CANBERRA AUSTRALIA 103.6
26 DUBLIN IRELAND 103.6
28 CALGARY CANADA 103.5
28 SINGAPORE SINGAPORE 103.5
30 STUTTGART GERMANY 103.3
31 HONOLULU UNITED STATES 103.1
32 ADELAIDE AUSTRALIA 103
32 SAN FRANCISCO UNITED STATES 103
34 PARIS FRANCE 102.9
35 HELSINKI FINLAND 102.6
36 BRISBANE AUSTRALIA 102.4
37 BOSTON UNITED STATES 102.2
38 LYON FRANCE 101.9
39 LONDON UNITED KINGDOM 101.6
40 TOKYO JAPAN 101.4
41 MILAN ITALY 100.8
41 KOBE JAPAN 100.8
41 YOKOHAMA JAPAN 100.8
44 BARCELONA SPAIN 100.6
45 LISBON PORTUGAL 100.3
45 CHICAGO UNITED STATES 100.3
45 WASHINGTON UNITED STATES 100.3
48 MADRID SPAIN 100.2
49 NEW YORK CITY UNITED STATES 100
50 SEATTLE UNITED STATES 99.8
Mercer distinguishes between Quality of Life and Quality of Living. Their quality of living refers to these objective measures
1. personal safety and security (apart from the threat of terrorism we are safe in terms of our super low crime rate)
2. health issues (I guess our healthcare is expensive, but not as expensive as America?)
3. transport infrastructure (pretty good especially with the subway system)
4. availability of consumer goods (the range of goods available keeps expanding)
5. adequate housing (housing is unaffordable for the average citizen)
6. schooling (this has always been great)
7. recreation (Singapore has developed quite a bit in this area especially in terms of its night life)
On my ‘glass half empty’ days, I feel my quality of life sucks. But Mercer qualifies that they are not measuring this. You may live in the highest ranked city in terms of quality of living and still have a very bad quality of life, because of unfortunate personal circumstances (illness, unemployment or loneliness, etc). Me and my mates can attest to bad bosses and coworkers, and soul sucking unemployment, but I guess people all over the world are facing that in this awful recession.
I can’t help but think it all started going south, with outsourcing and companies only focusing on stock prices and cost cutting. Previously jobs moved from the US to Singapore, but now even Singapore is too expensive and jobs are moving to China and India. If we have no jobs here, people in the US must be even worse off. The government nags us to increase productivity and accept pay cuts. We don’t have any protectionist policies here. Who can blame companies for taking the hard approach when all that matters to the board is the stock price? It’s all a case of Capitalism gone wrong because it is rooted in the greed. I hope it takes a turn before it is too late. I guess it has already spun out of control and that’s scary. Employees cannot be expected to have loyalty to the company when all big Corporations think of is how to make it cheaper and cheaper, while they increase their profits. Even if the recession is over, it will be a jobless recovery.
Hello nice person,
I appreciate the information you are providing here as far as terms of safety, schooling, education and quality of life. I can only provide my personal opinion. I’ve lived in Santa Monica (Los Angeles), California, Munich, German, Paris, France, and now in Bologna, Italy.
Each place has something wonderful to offer. Seattle, I believe is great for it’s music and artistic scene. Every place I have ever visited has it’s wonderful qualities.
I try to find the best in each place since happiness comes from with in. I do love Italy though, there’s no doubt about that. I love looking at your life in Singapore. Thank you so much.
Julie..you’re the best! Thanks for sharing your insights. your life sounds so wonderful. I hope to visit all the places you mentioned. out of all the countries you mentioned I’ve only visited Paris. The thing that blew my mind was the gorgeous architecture. I have been to Boston and fell like a kid again because it was the first time I experienced snow :)…Boston will always be associated with pure magic to me 🙂
Yes, US is in my opinion first choice for organization and quality of life ~ for me at least, as far as material wealth is concerned. I, however, have learned more from the Italians than I have anywhere else in the world. I have said it before, but continue to believe I am a better person for things I have learned from them, such as inclusion, traditions and culture.
It is NOT always easy as it was in the US where everything worked. I’m learning the value of hard work creating character.
My students at my school never stop to surprise me. They are smart, loving and easy to be around. Wherever you are, I hope you find things that inspire you. Keep writing. All the world’s problems can be solved on a page.
Italy is on my to-do list…. one day 🙂 tks again Julie
I can’t believe Auckland comes in 4th! Hahahaha… Life is bearable here, but I really yearn for open wide spaces and mountains and rivers and pretty things.
ya me too! NZ seems like heaven to me….I guess this list is for expats and the hardships they face when they work abroad and Singapore has the nightlife factor going for it.