(GRAPHIC DESIGN BY ALEX TANG / CHINA DAILY)
Worries over pollution kept Hong Kong out of the top-25 most livable cities for Asian expatriates list, a survey published by global mobility consultancy ECA International has found.
The survey retained Hong Kong at No. 28 among 480 locations covered worldwide this year. Singapore stayed at the top of the list once again because of low crime rates, easy access to good-quality schools and healthcare as well as low levels of pollution.
Quality of living in other cities has improved rapidly, narrowing the gap between Hong Kong and other key regional centers
“Hong Kong has failed to see an improvement on its score from last year and continues to suffer from long-term air quality and pollution issues which have seen it stay in the low position in the rankings,” said Lee Quane, regional director Asia at ECA International.
Hong Kong was still more livable than Taipei, at 65, and neighbor Macao at 100. The main drawbacks for these two cities are heightened risks from natural disasters in the area. Severe Typhoon Hato shredded Macao last year, killing 12 people and inflicting heavy damage.
Most Chinese mainland cities fell in the rankings. Shanghai – the highest-ranked mainland city – was at 114, down from 109 last year. Beijing declined 10 places to 134 because of worsening pollution.
Quality of living in other cities has improved rapidly, narrowing the gap between Hong Kong and other key regional centers.
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“Now there are several other locations in the region which may catch up with Hong Kong such as Seoul in South Korea, as these locations become more livable and are rising in our rankings,” Quane added.
The survey is updated annually, aiming to help companies establish appropriate allowances to compensate employees for adjustments required when going on international assignments.
Factors evaluated include climate, health risks and facilities, air pollution, goods and services, infrastructure, recreation, quality and availability – but not cost – of housing, education, crime and socio-political tensions.