Singapore is known as one of the most liveable cities in the world and has the best quality of life in Asia. Its global reputation and performance make it a lucrative destination for people to move. Before you make a call to your professional mover or buy a sofa and other furniture online, the country itself and its way of life are some things you have to understand so you know what to expect when you move.
Living in Singapore: Setting Expectations
Population: 5.8 million
Language: English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil
GDP (nominal) per capita: $55,900
Currency: Singapore Dollars (S$)
Cost of Living
As one of the most expensive cities in the world, the cost of living in Singapore is expected to be generally high, although some aspects are quite competitive on a global scale.
The country ranks high in the world’s most expensive housing costs, whether you are just renting out or looking to buy a property. It has an average price of US$1,063 (S$1,439) per square foot. The scarcity of land and space are the main drivers for housing costs in the country. Most of the housing units are apartments or high-rise condos with many options to choose from between government-owned properties and private properties. If you are looking for a freestanding house, the suburb is the place to go.
Car ownership is on the costly side due to the high selling prices, registration fees, and heavy taxes imposed on vehicles. This is why SG has one of the lowest car ownership rates in the developed world. Public transportation costs, on the other hand, are low by international standards. Its MRT system even offers free rides before 7:45 A.M.
Food and Groceries
Singapore’s geography puts it in a position where it has to import food and supplies, which make them a tad higher compared to its neighbouring countries. However, when compared to other first world countries, it is still relatively cheaper. If you want to save up on your eat-outs, hawker stalls are the best places to be. Go to wet markets instead of supermarkets for cheaper purchases, especially during closing time. Alcohol is more expensive, as it is taxed with a higher-than-usual rate.
Since Singapore is a tropical country, the weather is sunny and warm throughout the year with an average of 30 to 33°C. This allows you to go swimming anytime, which is a good excuse to visit Sentosa’s beaches every weekend.
While the official language is Mandarin Chinese, English is commonly used as it is the language for business. Children are taught English and Mandarin Chinese in schools. Expats will not have any problem communicating with locals.
Job and Career Opportunities
Singapore offers a lot of opportunities if you are highly educated and have a strong working performance. As most Singaporeans are raised as achievers, the competition is cutthroat. If you are looking to move to the city-state, it is advised that you have a job lined up first before flying out since it will be quite challenging to acquire sponsorship for any job. Once in the country, your network will matter because it is easier to get work opportunities through people you know than want ads.
Singapore has a great education system with a lot of outstanding public schools in the country that provide high-quality education at affordable prices. They also have several international schools to accommodate the expat populace. Although the cost of studying in Singapore is expensive by Asian standards, it is still relatively cheaper compared to other developed countries.
High-quality and affordable healthcare is accessible to everyone in Singapore, with or without health insurance. The city-state is constantly hailed as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world with proficient medical professionals and world-class facilities.
Taking all of these things into consideration, Singapore is overall a beautiful place to live in and is conducive to starting a new life and raising a family.