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Singapore Is Asia’s Most Preferred City To Work In

Singapore has been ranked the most desired Asian city to work in, according to Jobstreet’s Decoding Global Talent Report 2024. Globally, the city-state is the eighth top job destination, a ranking it has retained from 2020 to 2023, and a significant improvement from its 18th spot in 2018. The top three most preferred global cities for work are London, Amsterdam and Dubai, respectively, shares the report.

Most talents who wish to move to Singapore for work are from the nearby countries. These include Malaysia (30%), Thailand (22%), Indonesia (19%), Philippines (14%), and Hong Kong (13%) and, from further afield, China (6%) and India (5%). The quality of job opportunities was cited as the top reason; followed by the quality of life; and income, tax and cost of living.

Source: Decoding Global Talent Report 2024, Jobstreet

Among expatriates, Singapore has also been ranked the top Asian city, and the third best city worldwide (tied with Basel, Switzerland) for living and working in 2024, according to Preply’s updated Global Expat Index 2024. Ranked ahead of Singapore globally are Tallin (Estonia) and Bern (Switzerland). Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Munich (Germany) are ranked after the city-state, respectively. As expected, all the top-ranked cities received high marks for safety as well as cleanliness. The cost of living, average salaries, Wi-Fi offerings and how long it took to learn the local language, were among the 10 metrics considered.

Preply’s index notes that in Singapore, the average expat salary is US$4,980 (S$6,723). With monthly living costs averaging US$4,355, expats have a “comfortable amount of disposable income”. The city-state is also lauded for having around 200 iconic attractions such as the “famous Marina Bay Sands building and the beautiful Gardens by the Bay”, which bring returning visitors to “an impressive 14%”.

Top 10 Cities for Expats Moving to Asia in 2024 

Source: Global Expat Index 2024, Preply

Despite Singapore being a top desired city for foreign workers, it also sits at the top of the Cost of Living Index for Asia in 2024, that is, it is the most expensive city in Asia. The Numbeo index examines the various costs relative to New York City in the US, which span accommodation/rental, groceries, dining out, transportation, utilities, consumer goods, and local purchasing power compared to salary.

Top 10 Cost of Living Index by Country (Asia) 2024 

Source: Cost of Living Index 2024, Numbeo

Even though things are costly in Singapore, it continues to be attractive to businesses and workers. For businesses, the city-state is an economic powerhouse with a business-friendly environment, global connectivity, future-ready infrastructure and talented workforce, says the Economic Development Board. For workers, it is a great place to live and work, as evidenced by research data presented by Jobstreet, Preply, Numbeo, and others.

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