Singapore: Top spot in Asia for expats

SINGAPORE, 26 April 2024: Singapore tops the best cities in Asia for expats to work and live, ahead of Bangkok (2nd) and Chiang Mai (4th) in the Asia chart and third (shared with Basel Switzerland) in the global ranking.

It scores high for cleanliness, safety, and interesting cultural excursions. It’s also just a two-hour, 40-minute flight from Bangkok, Thailand, A busy route served by low-cost and full-service airlines. There are also direct flights to Phuket island for a change of vistas and lifestyle. 

According to the language learning platform Preply, over 26% of those learning a new language online are doing so due to relocating to a new area. With emigration becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst students, families, and working professionals, this begs the question – which cities worldwide are the best for expats to move to in 2024?

To find out which cities worldwide and in Asia are best for expats looking to relocate, Preply has ranked 60 of the most popular destinations based on nine relevant relocation metrics. These include the average monthly cost of living as an expat, salary, and safety scores.

The top 10 cities in Asia for expats to work and live 

Places to live in Singapore for expats

With 1.23 million expats and migrant workers living in Singapore in 2022, Preply has also investigated which areas of Singapore are the most affordable and the most expensive to rent a one-bedroom condo to help those packing their bags and making a home in Singapore.

The town of Ang Mo Kio has the best rent value. With a household income of USD5,499 and rent costs averaging USD1,268 per month, the percentage of income spent on rent is 23%, the lowest figure overall.

Second-placed Sembawang, going up in accommodation costs, has a higher monthly household income (USD8,499). The average rent cost is almost double that of Ang Mo Kio (USD2,329), resulting in a slightly higher income percentage (27%). 

In third place is Yishun, with 28% of income used, followed by Punggol in fourth (29%) and Choa Chu Kang in fifth, with 30% of average income spent on rent.

Global Expat Index 2024: The world’s top 10 cities for expats to work and live

About Preply
Preply is an online language learning marketplace, connecting tutors to hundreds of thousands of learners in 180 countries worldwide. More than 40,000 tutors teach over 50 languages, powered by a machine-learning algorithm recommending the best tutors for each learner. Founded in the US in 2012 Preply has grown from a team of three to a company of over 600 employees with offices in Barcelona, New York, and Kyiv.

Methodology and Sources
To reveal the best cities for expats, language learning platform Preply created the global expat index ranking 50 cities around the world on their suitability for relocating to live and work based on the following 10 metrics:
Average monthly cost of living as an expat; 
Average monthly salary (after tax);
Estimated tax on $50,000; 
Internet speed (Mbps);
Safety city index (0-100, 100 being the safest);
Visitor return rate;
Average monthly cost of co-working space and percentage of salary spent on a co-working space;
Cleanliness (dirty and untidy score, Higher = worse);
Hours needed to learn the dominant language in the city.

  • *Currency applied: USD


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