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7 International Rankings That Singaporeans Enjoy

Being the best has its perks.

Some may attribute it to our “kaisu-ness” (fear of losing out), while others see it as our competitive spirit. Regardless, our commitment to excellence and quality of work has enabled us to establish the Singapore standard that is internationally recognised across various fields.

It has also helped us to become “A City of Excellence and a Society of Distinction” envisioned by our second generation leaders, who wished to accord each Singaporean the Swiss standard of living.

As we have achieved accolades like being the fourth wealthiest city and the fifth-smartest city in the world, which serve as benchmarks for our society as a whole, here are some international rankings that also benefit us as individuals.

#1 Our CPF System Is Rated The Best Retirement System In Asia And World’s Top 10

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a mandatory social security savings scheme for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs), funded by both employers and employees. It acts as a key pillar of Singapore’s social security system to meet our retirement, housing, and healthcare needs.

Despite its supporters and critics, the CPF system consistently ranks among the world’s best retirement systems. The 15th edition of the Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index rated Singapore’s CPF system as the best Asian retirement system, placing it seventh out of 47 retirement systems globally.

It was given an overall score of 76.3 and a B+ rating (for the first time) due to the increased level of pension coverage, which also scores for the system’s adequacy, sustainability, and integrity. From 1 January 2025, the Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) will be raised to 4x Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) instead of the current 3x, allowing CPF members to save more in their Retirement Account (RA) and receive higher monthly retirement payouts.

Read Also: CPF (SG) Vs 401(k) (US) Vs MPF (HK) Vs EPF (MY): What’s The Difference Between Singapore’s CPF & Other Retirement Systems Globally

#2 Public Housing In Singapore Is Deemed To Be The Most Attainable In Asia Pacific

With a homeownership rate of around 90%, properties are a preferred asset class among Singaporeans, whether for own-stay or investment. Of this, around 78% of the homeowners stay in public housing flats, which are sold with generous subsidies to first-time buyers.

These have helped to maintain the affordability of Housing Development Board (HDB) flats, despite the steady appreciation of home prices over the years. According to the 2024 Home Attainability Index by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), HDB flats are the most affordable among 48 cities in 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The median prices of these homes are 4.7 times the median household income, which is below the benchmark level of 5, indicating high affordability.

Furthermore, the government has also been moderating prices by increasing the supply of new build-to-order (BTO) flats. Since 2021, the government has launched over 67,000 flats and is on track to meet the target of 100,000 flats by 2025.

Read Also: Here’s The Salary You Need To Earn To Afford These Homes In Singapore [2024 Edition]

#3 Singaporean Students Enjoy A World Class Education System

In a country where citizens are its main natural resource, a strong emphasis is placed on education. Singapore’s education system comprises four stages: preschool, primary, secondary, and post-secondary, where students are typically taught subjects in languages, mathematics, science, art, music, and social studies.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted the 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, which ranked Singapore number one in all three areas—mathematics, reading, and science. The survey, involving around 690,000 students in 81 participating countries and economies, measures 15-year olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges. According to the findings, it puts the average Singaporean student at least 3 to 5 years of schooling ahead of their peers.

The local education system has evolved over the years, with the removal of mid-year exams in primary and secondary schools as well as moving away from academic labels such as Express and Normal streams. Additionally, schemes like the SkillsFuture credit, introduced in 2015, encourage adults to adopt lifelong learning.

Read Also: How Much Do You Have To Pay For School Fees In Singapore

#4 Our Public Transit System Is Of A World Class Standard  

Over the past decade, the public transport network in Singapore saw a 40% expansion of the rail network, 80 new bus services, reduced peak hour waiting times for basic bus services from 30 minutes to 15 minutes, as well as improved rail reliability from 67,000 to over 1 million mean kilometres between failures.

In addition to these improvements, the government has committed a further $60 billion to expand and improve the public transport network, including subsidising public train and bus services by more than $2 billion annually, or $1 for every journey.

In recognition of these efforts, Singapore’s public transit system, which was deemed to be world-class, was ranked 3rd out of 65 global cities in the public transit sub-index of the 2023 edition of the Urban Mobility Readiness. The study carried out by the University of California, Berkeley and the Oliver Wyman, was based on 13 factors such as affordability, operating hours, travelling speed and station density.

Furthermore, with the upcoming Jurong Regional Line (JRL) and Cross Island Line (CRL), 8 in 10 households will live within a 10-minute walk of a MRT station by 2030. Residents can also expect an inclusive transport system with more barrier-free journeys and a shorter travelling time of no more than 45 minutes to complete most peak-period journeys between home and workplace.

#5 The Singapore Passport Is One Of The World’s Most Powerful

Singaporeans have a strong appetite for overseas travel, with many favouring popular destinations like Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. While most countries require visitors to obtain a visa before entering, certain passport holders are exempt from this requirement.

In that regard, the Singapore passport is considered one of the world’s most powerful – a title that it shares with five other countries – France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain. According to the latest 2024 rankings published by the Henley Passport Index, which compares against 198 passports and 226 destinations, the Singapore passport allows for 194 visa-free destinations.

Read Also: The Singapore Passport Is Ranked First In The World: 6 Things You May Not Know About Our Passport

#6 Singapore Changi Airport Is The World’s Best Airport In Asia  

Singapore Changi Airport, which serves as Singapore’s only gateway for air travel, is an important mascot for Singapore because it’s the first point of contact for international visitors to the country. With four passenger terminals, including Jewel Changi, a 10-storey lifestyle hub, it is one of the busiest air hubs, serving over 5,800 weekly flights by 102 airlines to 145 cities.

Winner of the 2023 Airport of the Year and 12 times previously, Singapore Changi Airport clinched 2nd place in the latest 2024 edition behind Qatar’s Hamad International Airport. The award, issued by UK-based airline and airport review and ranking site Skytrax, polls people from more than 100 nationalities on their customer experience across airport service and product performance. These include indicators such as check in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, and departure at the gate. Additionally, Changi Airport also won the Best Airport In Asia and the World’s Best Airport Immigration Service awards.

As part of its expansion plans, Changi Airport will add a new Terminal 5 within the 1,080-hectare Changi East development by mid-2030. The new T5 will have a three-runway system and be linked to the other four terminals. When fully operational, it is expected to handle about 50 million passenger movement per year.

Read Also: 10 Popular Travel Destinations For Singaporeans And The Best Time To Book For Cheaper Flights

#7 Singapore Is One Of The Safest Countries In The World

Singapore is known to be one of the safest countries in the world due to our consistently low crime rates, a transparent legal system and effective law enforcement with a strong police-community partnership.

According to the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2023, Singapore is ranked 3rd out of 142 countries for Order and Security with a factor score of 0.93 (closer to 1.00 indicates strong adherence to the rule of law).

The responsibility of keeping the community safe doesn’t only rest on the shoulders of law enforcement officers but on all of us. As part of the SGSecure movement, we can play an important role by reporting suspicious behaviours or items.

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