What factors does quality of life capture?
Quality of life refers to the general well-being of individuals and societies. It considers factors like physical health, education, employment, and wealth to determine the overall level of satisfaction with the lifestyle of the society. If you are an entrepreneur thinking of launching your business in Singapore, you want to consider these types of factors, particularly if you plan to relocate to Singapore from overseas. Factors that impact and determine quality of life in a given country are:
- Political and social environment
- Economic environment
- Socio-cultural environment
- Health and sanitation
- Schools and education
- Natural environment
- Public services and transportation
- Consumer goods
Calculating Quality of Life in Singapore
Even though quality of life pretty much a catch all term, there are methods out there that we can use to calculate quality of life. It may seem odd but we are indeed able to quantifiably measure the economic, social, physical, political, and spiritual well-being of a place. Singapore has consistently ranked quite high regarding quality of life using these methods. An ABC News study declared Singapore as the happiest country in Asia, with a whopping 95% of the population considering themselves to be “happy” or “very happy”.
According to HSBC’s 10th annual ‘’Expat Explorer: Broadening Perspectives’’ survey, Singapore is the best place to live in the world as an expat. The survey was conducted earlier this year from Britain’s YouGov polling agency with 28,000 expats (people aged 18 and over) living in 159 countries and territories. The pollster asked expats 27 questions varying from work to personal life balance, personal finance and overall cost of raising children, which resulted with three league tables: economics, experience, and family.
According to this survey, the key reasons why expats love Singapore are the bumper salaries and safety. 73% say they can earn more in Singapore than in their native country, 42% say their annual income has increased since moving there, and 65% said they have more disposable income than at home. Regarding safety, 82% said they feel safer in Singapore than at home. However, 85% of respondents said the cost of childcare was higher in Singapore than at home.
Singapore’s quality of life at a glance
SAFE AND TRANSPARENT – Singapore is a safe country free of corruption and full of business opportunities. The government in Singapore invests heavily in health, education, and infrastructure, making it one of the best places in the world to live and do business in.
EXCELLENT PUBLIC TRANSPORT – Navigating this city-state is a breeze. You can get from one side of the city to the next at an reasonable fare thanks to the highly efficient and clean public transportation network.
MULTICULTURAL – Singapore dazzles visitors with a variety of cultures and religions. Diversity is celebrated, as demonstrated by the no-tolerance policy the government has regarding hate speech. People in Singapore have access to a huge range of traditions, cuisines, and festivities.
EXPENSIVE – Perhaps the only downside to Singapore is its high cost of living. Still, visitors to and residents from Singapore largely say that the pros outweigh the cons.
LEGAL SYSTEM – Singapore’s government has a reputation for being heavy-handed. The rule of law is respected and followed in the country, with steep consequences for those who don’t abide by it.
GOVERNMENT – The People’s Action Party (PAP) has governed Singapore continuously since 1959. The PAP has adopted a pro-business, authoritarian, and constitutional attitude towards its governance.
PUBLIC SAFETY – Singapore is an extremely safe city. The government has released reports highlighting the lack of gun violence, assault, and drug activities. Perhaps the reasons crime rates are so low is because of the threat of punishment – offenders face long term imprisonment, public canings, and the death penalty.
ECONOMIC CONDITIONS – Singapore consistently has budget surpluses, low unemployment and stable, low inflation. It is a major financial centre and is the busiest port in the world.
Infrastructure and Public Services
HEALTHCARE – Singapore’s healthcare system uses Medisave. Residents are required to pay into Medisave each month with the understanding that should a citizen fall ill, his or her costs are covered. A government fund called Medifund covers those who cannot afford Medisave payments.
EDUCATION – Singapore tops the global education rankings consistently. The education system is based on and promotes self-sufficiency, hard work and meritocracy.
TRANSPORTATION – Singapore is home to one of the best public transport systems in the world. The city bus services are affordable and efficient. The famous Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system gets you from one side of the city to the other quickly and at a cheap fare as well. Owning a car, however, is quite expensive and subject to many fees.
HOUSING – Singaporeans divide housing into three categories: private apartments, landed property and public housing. Monthly rent varies between S$3,000 and S$15,000, depending on the location and size of housing. Public housing is also available for S$1,500 to S$3,000 per month. The high cost of living is largely due to land scarcity.
DIVERSITY – Singapore is the prime example of a melting pot of different cultural traditions. Singapore has four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. Buddhism is the most popular religion (33%), followed by Christianity and Islam.
FOOD – Cuisine in Singapore is a mix of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western cultural traditions, reflecting the ethnic diversity of its population. You can find Michelin star food for less than S$4 in Chinatown.
CLIMATE – Located just north of the Equator, Singapore has a tropical climate that produces hot, humid conditions year round. Average temperature hovers around 31ºC during the day and 25ºC at night. Humidity ranges from 70% and 100%.
Singapore offers a very high quality of life so it’s not surprising that the nation is recognised as one of Asia’s most liveable cities. The city-state is home to world class infrastructure, maintains low crime rates, establishes business-friendly policies, and has high levels of education. It’s easy for visitors to adjust to the inclusive and convenient lifestyle of Singapore. Tourists and residents alike enjoy authentic food, high levels of cleanliness, and a safe environment, making it one of the most attractive places to live in.