Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
Top cities in Asia to relocate your employees to

Top cities in Asia to relocate your employees to

A recent ranking saw four Japanese cities in the top 10, with Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul, and Kuala Lumpur also making the list.

The nature of the world's economy today has indeed had a direct impact on quality of living. Many employees are, in turn, reconsidering their priorities and assessing their work-life balances, wherein the places in which they live and work and the quality of life they can have there with their families is of high importance. 

Against this backdrop, Mercer has released its Quality of Living 2023 ranking, which assesses the practicalities of daily life for expatriates and their families working outside of their home location. 

This year, Vienna retained the top spot in the global ranking, followed closely by Zurich in second spot, and Auckland and Copenhagen claiming the third and fourth positions, respectively.

Zooming in to Asia, Singapore ranked first (29th globally), lauded for its clean and safe environment combined with highly efficient infrastructure. This was followed by four major cities in Japan, namely Yokohama (47th), Tokyo (50th), Osaka (58th), and Nagoya (63rd). As the ranking deems, these cities are known for their advanced technology, public transportation, and cultural heritage.

Beyond that, the two largest cities in South Korea, Seoul and Busan, ranked 81st and 95th respectively, making the top 10 Asian cities for quality of living. The other top 10 cities in Asia are:

  • Hong Kong (77th),
  • Taipei, Taiwan (82nd),
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (86th), and
  • Taichung, Taiwan (95th).

What does this mean for attracting international businesses and talent?

In addition to the quality of living that a location can provide, the cost to live there influences how attractive a location is to employees and corporations.

In general, countries and cities are continuously striving to attract international businesses as well as digital nomads and mobile employees. The most successful locations are currently those combining flexible governance for mobile talent, a high quality of life and a reasonable cost of living.

Below shows the correlation between the cost and quality of living across selected cities around the world.

  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Quality of living ranking of 86 and cost of living ranking of 203
  • Singapore: Quality of living ranking of 29 and cost of living ranking of 3
  • Hong Kong: Quality of living ranking of 77 and cost of living ranking of 2
  • New Delhi, India: Quality of living ranking of 172 and cost of living ranking of 168 
  • Hanoi, Vietnam: Quality of living ranking of 167 and cost of living ranking of 162
  • Mumbai, India: Quality of living ranking of 164 and cost of living ranking of 139
  • Jakarta, Indonesia: Quality of living ranking of 148 and cost of living ranking of 156
  • Manila, the Philippines: Quality of living ranking of 135 and cost of living ranking of 133
  • Bangkok, Thailand: Quality of living ranking of 124 and cost of living ranking of 113

In determining these rankings, the study used New York City as the base city in comparing the factors taken into account for the global ranking. This year’s ranking includes 241 cities across five continents.


Lead image / Quality of Living 2023

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