HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's liveability for expats plunges amidst intensifying pollution

It dropped to 28th place.

Despite the multitude of high-paying expat jobs in the Asian financial centre, the city’s liveability is put under scrutiny as Hong Kong drops to 28th place due to worsening environmental concerns, according to a report from ECA International.

“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 has seen it stay in the low position in the rankings,” said ECA International regional director Lee Quane.

The city’s pollution problem is one of the worst in the world amidst high traffic density and coal burning power plants with pollutants in the mid-sized region at three times higher than New York and double of London.

Close regional competitor remained the top place for expat liveability due to the lion city’s low crime crates, quality education and healthcare facilities and low levels of pollution.

Australian cities Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth also dominated the list after snagging second, third and sixth respectively due to excellent facilities and infrastructure. Cities from Japan also performed strongly in the rankings with Nagoya and Tokyo sharing sixth place with Perth.

“Japanese cities are consistently among the best locations for Asian expatriates to relocate to. This is due to, among many things, the excellent facilities and infrastructure, as well as the prevalence of a range of goods and services,” Quane added.

However, urban hotspots London and New York plummeted in the rankings amidst worsening crime and air pollution levels. 

ECA's Location Ratings system objectively evaluates a host of factors to form an assessment of the overall quality of living in over 480 locations worldwide. Factors assessed include climate; availability of health services; housing and utilities; isolation; access to a social network and leisure facilities; infrastructure; personal safety; political tensions; and air quality. 

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