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Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category


Singapore rose two notches to sixth spot as the most expensive city in Asia after four Japanese cities and Seoul, owing to the strong Singapore dollar and a 5.7 per cent rise in the average price of goods and services.

Also, for the first time in at least 10 years, Singapore is deemed more expensive than Hong Kong, which turned up at ninth spot in terms of most costly locations in Asia, according to the latest Cost of Living Survey conducted by ECA International.

‘When we look at the overall cost of ECA’s basket of goods and services in Singapore a year ago, these items were 1.7 per cent less expensive in Singapore than when purchased in Hong Kong,’ says Mr Lee Quane, Regional Director, ECA International, Asia. ‘Now those same items are 8.5 per cent more expensive in Singapore than Hong Kong.’

Globally, Singapore has catapulted to 31st spot from 42nd a year ago while Japan, owing to the strong yen, retains its grip on the top spot as world’s most costly location. Hong Kong has dropped 26 places to 58th position in the global ranking – the largest fall of any city in Asia – despite the price of goods there having increased.

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Vienna’s excellent infrastructure, safe streets and good public health service make it the nicest place to live in the world, consulting group Mercer said in a global survey which put Baghdad firmly in last place.

German and Swiss cities also performed especially well in the quality of living rankings, with Zurich, Munich, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva and Bern in the top 10.

The Austrian capital, with its ornate buildings, public parks and extensive bicycle network recently reduced the cost of its annual public transport ticket to 1 euro a day.

Serious crime is rare and the city of around 1.7 million inhabitants regularly tops global quality of life surveys.

But Mercer warned that top-ranking European cities could not take their position for granted in the survey, which assessed more than 200 cities.

“They are not immune to any decrease of living standards should this (economic) turmoil persist,” Mercer’s senior researcher Slagin Parakatil said on the company’s website.

Rank City Country
1 Vienna Austria
2 Zurich Switzerland
3 Auckland New Zealand
4 Munich Germany
5 Düsseldorf Germany
6 Vancouver Canada
7 Frankfurt Germany
8 Geneva Switzerland
9 Bern Switzerland
9 Copenhagen Denmark
11 Sydney Australia
12 Amsterdam Netherlands
13 Wellington New Zealand
14 Ottawa Canada
15 Toronto Canada
16 Hamburg Germany
17 Berlin Germany
18 Melbourne Australia
19 Luxembourg Luxembourg
20 Stockholm Sweden
21 Perth Australia
22 Brussels Belgium
22 Montreal Canada
24 Nurnberg Germany
25 Singapore Singapore
26 Canberra Australia
26 Dublin Ireland
28 Stuttgart Germany
29 Honolulu, HI United States
30 Adelaide Australia
30 Paris France
30 San Francisco, CA United States
33 Calgary Canada
33 Oslo Norway
35 Helsinki Finland
36 Boston, MA United States
37 Brisbane Australia
38 London United Kingdom
39 Lyon France
40 Barcelona Spain
41 Lisbon Portugal
42 Milan Italy
43 Chicago, IL United States
43 Madrid Spain
43 Washington, DC United States
46 Tokyo Japan
47 New York City, NY United States
48 Seattle, WA United States
49 Kobe Japan
49 Pittsburgh, PA United States
49 Yokohama Japan

Singapore has come out tops in Mercer’s Quality of Living and Safety surveys. The city ranked 25th in the Quality of Life survey and eight in the safety one.

Singapore beat countries like Tokyo (46), Hong Kong (70) and Kuala Lumpur (76) in terms of quality of life to be the highest ranking Asian country on the list.

Singapore rose in the rankings after coming in 28th last year.

This year, the survey separately identifies those cities with the highest personal safety ranking based on internal stability, crime levels, law enforcement effectiveness and the host country’s international relations.

Luxembourg tops this personal safety ranking, followed by Bern, Helsinki and Zurich – all ranked at number two.

Singapore, ranking eight, is the only Asian country in the top 30.


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