Sign in

Chinese cities continue to rise in liveability rankings for Asian expats

  • Chinese cities have seen further improvements in their liveability scores
  • Beijing, Nanjing, Shenzhen and many others all rise in the liveability rankings
  • Hong Kong continues to fall, whilst Singapore named most liveable location 
     

Chinese cities continue to rise in the liveability rankings, reflecting a long-term trend as many locations in the country continue to develop. This was one of the conclusions of the latest Location Ratings survey published by global mobility experts, ECA International.

“The location ratings scores for Chinese locations have been improving for many years and cities such as Beijing, Nanjing, Shenzhen and Xiamen have all seen their scores improve this year, along with many others” said Lee Quane, Regional Director – Asia at ECA International. “Despite rapid improvements to infrastructure, the one downside for many Chinese cities in the past has been excessive levels of air pollution which have negatively impacted the quality of life. However, in recent years the Chinese authorities have introduced measures to combat air pollution and these efforts are translating into improvements in their rankings.”

Updated annually, ECA's Location Ratings system objectively evaluates a host of factors to form an assessment of the overall quality of living in over 480 locations worldwide. The system helps companies establish appropriate allowances to compensate employees for the adjustment required when going on international assignment. Factors assessed include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; natural phenomena; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions; and air quality. The impact of some of the factors assessed will vary according to the home location of the assignee.

Asia Highlights

Hong Kong has dropped twelve places and is now only the joint 41st most liveable city for expats coming from elsewhere in East Asia.

Quane said “Hong Kong has slipped down our rankings in the past twelve months due to the disruption and considerable damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut in September. Although there was no loss of life, Mangkhut was the most devastating storm experienced by Hong Kong since record began and the cost of the resulting damage to buildings and infrastructure is estimated to be around USD 1 billion. Therefore, Hong Kong’s liveability score has changed to reflect the difficulties caused by Typhoon Mangkhut.”

Macau also saw its position in ECA’s rankings fall, by 3 places to 104th globally, owing to the impact that the typhoon also had on this location. 

Singapore is once again the most liveable location for Asian expatriates, having claimed the top spot every year since ECA’s liveability rankings began in 2005. 

Quane said “Unsurprisingly for many, Singapore once again remains the most liveable location in the world for expats relocating from elsewhere in East Asia. A number of factors make Singapore the ideal location; such as access to great facilities, low crime rates, good quality healthcare and education, as well as a large expat population already living in Singapore. Although many cities in Asia offer similar benefits to overseas workers, Singapore remains the top location and doesn’t look like dropping in the rankings any time soon.”

Japanese cities continue to perform strongly, with all four of the Japanese locations included in the rankings featuring in the top ten. This is despite Osaka’s score dropping slightly due to the effects of Typhoon Jebi, which caused significant damage to the city.

Quane said “Japanese cities have always performed strongly in our location ratings rankings and this year is no exception, with Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Yokohama all in the top ten locations for Asian expatriates. Despite Typhoon Jebi hitting Osaka and southern Japan in early September and causing widespread disruption and casualty to the region, Osaka remains joint fifth in the rankings, a slight drop from third last year.”

Global Highlights

Outside of Asia, cities in Australia and New Zealand offer the best quality of living for Asian workers, with Brisbane and Sydney joint second in the rankings. 

“Australian and New Zealand locations always tend to score well for Asian expatriates, due to the high level of infrastructure and facilities, as well as the fact that they are geographically closer to the home locations of Asian workers compared to cities in Europe or further afield.”

Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, is the most liveable European location for Asian expats, and joint tenth overall.

“Copenhagen is consistently high in our liveability rankings and is the most liveable European location, as it was last year. Copenhagen scores well across the board, including low pollution and crime levels, access to good facilities and schools, and excellent healthcare” said Quane.
 

Top 20 most liveable locations for Asian expatriates
Location
2019 ranking
2018 ranking
Singapore
1
1
Brisbane, Australia
2
2
Sydney, Australia
2
3
Adelaide, Australia
4
3
Osaka, Japan
5
3
Nagoya, Japan
5
6
Tokyo, Japan
5
6
Wellington, New Zealand
8
9
Canberra, Australia
8
10
Perth, Australia
10
6
Copenhagen, Denmark
10
10
Yokohama, Japan
10
10
Utrecht, Netherlands
13
13
Melbourne, Australia
14
14
Bern, Switzerland
14
14
Auckland, New Zealand
14
17
Darwin, Australia
17
14
Amsterdam, Netherlands
17
17
Eindhoven, Netherlands
17
17
The Hague, Netherlands
17
17
Stavanger, Norway
17
17
Geneva, Switzerland
17
22
 
-ENDS-
 

Notes to Editors

About ECA International 

ECA International is the market-leading provider of knowledge, information and technology that enables businesses to manage their international reward programmes.
Partnering with thousands of clients on every continent, we provide a fully-integrated suite of quality data, specialist software, consultancy and training. Our unparalleled insights guide clients as they mobilise their most valuable resource: people.
We make the complex world of international mobility simple, providing clients with the expertise and support they need to make the right decisions – every time.
ECA International: Mobility solutions for a world that’s constantly moving.

About ECA’s Location Ratings

Updated annually, ECA International's Location Ratings system measures the quality of expatriate living conditions in over 480 locations around the world to arrive at a fair and consistent assessment of the level of difficulty the expatriate will experience in adapting to a new location. Factors evaluated include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions and air quality.

Like this article? Share it... Twitter Facebook   LinkedIn