Expat 'Liveability' Index Published

By Haruna Kobayashi, for ExpatBriefing.com 26 January, 2015

Bern and Copenhagen have been ranked as the easiest places to relocate for Europeans posted abroad. Toronto came first for North Americans and Singapore was first for Asians.

ECA International, which advises companies posting employees abroad, evaluated over 450 locations worldwide. The factors it considered included the climate, the availability of health services, the cost and availability of housing and utilities, the lifestyle a city offers, infrastructure, personal safety, political tensions, and air quality.

The firm pointed out, however, that other factors, such as a location's distance from an expat's home country and differences in culture, language, and climate are important but specific to each person.

Singapore, as well as being the top location globally for Asians, was also the top location in Asia for North Americans and Europeans. Meanwhile, Copenhagen was said to be the top European location for Asians.

After Toronto, Dublin was said to be the second best location for North Americans. Four cities shared third position: Copenhagen and Zurich in Europe, and Ottowa and Vancouver in North America. Cities in Australia and Japan scored highly for Asian expats, particularly Adelaide, Sydney, and Osaka.

In Africa, the best quality of life for expats (from all three regions) was said to be found in Port Louis, Mauritius, followed by Cape Town, South Africa.

Dubai scored highly among locations in the Middle East, although for North Americans and Europeans it came second to Tel Aviv, Israel.

Hong Kong was said to be less attractive than in previous years. Lee Quane, who is Regional Director – Asia for ECA International, explained that Hong Kong's air quality remains poor and that its socio-political score has decreased due to unprecedented unrest and new restrictions on movement. However, he said that Hong Kong continues to score well in areas such as infrastructure, education, healthcare facilities, and the availability of goods and services. According to Quane, Hong Kong remains "one of the easier places in the world for an outsider to adjust to living and working in."

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