Despite topping the list of Preferred Destinations for Emigration and Overseas Property Purchases among all the Chinese cities, Hong Kong lost its 3rd place in Asia to Singapore on the Global Cities Liveability ranking recently released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). But it still ranked the top for the list of Chinese cities on the list.
According to the EIU, the research and analysis division of the British publication group The Economist, the list ranks 140 cities around the world for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors by five categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, assigning each of them a rating of relative comfort.
Melbourne tops the list of global rankings, followed by Vienna, and then three Canadian cities—Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary. None of the Asian cities made it into the top 10 list, and two Japanese cities took up the top two spots among Asian cities. Hong Kong, the third place holder in Asia last year was beaten by Singapore by one and ranked No.4 among Asian cities with a global ranking of 45.
As for China, the top cities, followed by their global ranking, were as follows:
- Hong Kong (45)
- Suzho (72)
- Beijing (73)
- Tianjin (77)
- Shanghai (81)
- Shenzhen (84)
- Dalian (88)
- Guangzhou (92)
But among the most livable cities, China’s don’t make the top 40, and the emigration industry is booming in China, almost exclusively among the rich.
A report on Immigration and the Chinese HNWI released by Hurun in July 2017 shows that 46.5 percent of the surveyed Chinese HNWIs are considering emigrating to a foreign country, and 9 percent have already started the process.
Investment-based immigration methods are among the most common; alternatively, “birth tourism” to the U.S. is also considered a form of investment for the wealthy Chinese who hope to acquire citizenship through their American-born children.
Among the five categories EIU used for the most liveable cities index, education and environment are the top two elements Chinese HNWIs value when deciding their emigration destination. This year’s Hurun report suggests that despite not making into top 10 of the EIU Most Liveable Cities list, the U.S. is still the first choice for Chinese HNWIs. The reasons being the ease of the process of immigration and the exposure of knowledge of the destination, the report suggests.
All in all, the EIU’s Most Liveable Cities rankings could be a great reference for the wealthy Chinese to select their emigration destination; but as some Chinese commenting on the matter online have said, the ranking is based on quantified qualities on a global scale and might not reflect the preferences of the Chinese consumers. Thus it needs to be taken with a tiny pinch of salt.