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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Singapore Is Great for Careers & the Basics

Singapore ranks 10th out of 50 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2022: expats find it easy to navigate their life there, but the work culture could be better.

Singapore ranks 10th out of 50 cities in the Expat City Ranking 2022 and even 3rd in the Expat Essentials Index. The city-state comes first worldwide in the Language Subcategory. It also lands among the best-rated destinations for Digital Life (3rd) and Admin Topics (9th): expats are very happy with the ease of getting high-speed internet access at home (97% happy vs. 79% globally) and the ease of paying without cash (97% vs. 84% globally). They also rate the availability of government services online (91% vs. 61% globally) and the ease of dealing with the local bureaucracy (63% vs. 40% happy) positively. An expat from Indonesia mentions the “fast and organized online services for many administrative purposes” as one of her highlights of living in Singapore.

While 73% of expats describe it as easy to find housing in Singapore (vs. 54% globally), 71% find it unaffordable (vs. 43% globally). Additionally, 56% rate the general cost of living negatively, compared to 35% globally. Still, expats are satisfied with their financial situation (75% happy vs. 60% globally) and feel that their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life in Singapore (87% vs. 72% globally). This helps the city land in 16th place in the Personal Finance Index.

It might help with regard to finance that close to three-quarters (74%) feel paid fairly for their work, based on their industry, qualification, and role (vs. 62% globally). Singapore ranks third worldwide for this factor, only beaten by Basel (1st) and Dublin (2nd). In fact, 78% say that moving to Singapore has improved their career (vs. 60% globally) — 46% even very much so (vs. 33% globally). However, Singapore only ranks 28th in the Working Abroad Index since the Work & Leisure (33rd) and Work Culture & Satisfaction (37th) Subcategories leave a lot to be desired. The city ranks low in terms of work-life balance (39th) and expats seeing a purpose in their job (38th). They also find that the local business culture encourages neither creativity (40% unhappy vs. 26% globally) nor independent work and/or flat hierarchies (36% vs. 28% globally).

Singapore shows a better performance in the Ease of Settling In (23rd) and the Quality of Life (20th) Indices. However, the latter features some ups and downs. While Singapore ranks among the best cities worldwide for both the affordability (3rd) and the availability (4th) of public transportation, as well as the infrastructure for cars (3rd), it is among the worst-rated ones for the opportunity to travel (46th). Similar trends can be found among the results in the Health & Well-Being (18th) and the Safety & Security (23rd) Subcategories. For example, expats describe healthcare as unaffordable (44th) but are happy with its availability and quality (2nd for both). Singapore even ranks first worldwide for the ease of accessing all kinds of necessary healthcare services (84% positive ratings vs. 67% globally).

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