PERHAPS by no surprise, the wealthy, relatively low-populated nations of New Zealand, Australia and Singapore are home to the cities with the highest quality of life in the Asia Pacific region according to new research.
The 2018 Quality of Living Ranking released by international human resources consulting firm Mercer ranked New Zealand’s largest city Auckland third in the world for quality of life, the best in the Asia Pacific.
Some 450 cities were surveyed for the research, which ranks them according to living conditions assessed by 10 categories including political, social and economic environment, medical and health considerations, recreation, and public services and transportation.
Australia’s largest metropolis Sydney came in at number 10, while New Zealand’s capital Wellington and Australia’s cultural capital Melbourne were ranked 15 and 16, respectively. Western Australia’s Perth was ranked just above the Little Red Dot Singapore at 25.
Mercer ranked Dhaka, Bangladesh in 216, which it said demonstrated the “region’s great disparity in quality of living.”
But while cities in Western Europe dominated the top of the list for the ninth year running, Asian cities have steadily improved as economic development transforms the region. According to Mercer, cities in China and India had the highest increases in living standards in Asia between 1998 and 2018.
“Cities in emerging markets, though challenged by economic and political turmoil, are catching up with top ranking cities following decades of investing in infrastructure, recreational facilities and housing in order to attract talent and multinational businesses,” said a statement from the company.
Nevertheless, the Indian metropolises of New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata still ranked among the worst cities for quality of life in the world for City Sanitation – a new category which assesses the availability of water, prevalence of air pollution and infectious diseases in urban centres.
Next overall in Asia below Singapore was Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 85, with other Southeast Asian centres Bangkok (132), Manila (137) and Jakarta (142) also ranking underwhelmingly.
Japanese cities ranked well in East Asia, with Tokyo (50), Yokohama (55) and Osaka (59) edging out Hong Kong (71), Seoul (79), Shanghai (103) and Beijing (119).