Bangkok ranks 173rd place and near bottom of ‘safe city’ list for expats

A tuk tuk on Yaowarat road.
A tuk tuk on Yaowarat road.

In a new survey by consulting company Mercer, political unrest has sent Bangkok close to the bottom of rankings measuring personal safety of expats.

Out of 230 cities across the globe, Bangkok shamefully ranks 173rd when it comes to personal safety for expats, according to the Quality of Living Rankings by Mercer, which was released Tuesday.

“Following considerable political unrest and terrorist attacks in several tourist areas over the last few years, Bangkok ranked 173rd for personal safety,” said the report.

Mercer highlights safety as it is a key factor that multinational companies consider when sending expatriate workers abroad. Topics such as social unrest and security threats are added to the complex challenges facing multinational companies when analysing the safety and health of their expatriate workforces.

But it isn’t all bad being an expat in Bangkok as the city came fifth in Southeast Asia in terms of good quality of living.

In the Asia Pacific region, Singapore dominates both lists as it ranked eighth place for personal safety and 26th place for the quality of living category.

Following Singapore in Southeast Asia was Malaysia, with Kuala Lumpur at 86th place and Johor Bahru at 103rd for quality of living. Also above Bangkok is Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei (102).

Other key Asian cities ranked highly in the quality of living index included Tokyo (44) and Hong Kong (70), followed by Shanghai (101).

Bangkok (129) was followed by Manila (136), Jakarta (142), Phnom Penh (195) and Yangon (201).

Globally, Western European cities enjoy some of the highest quality of living worldwide as they took seven places in the top-10 list with Vienna at the top spot, followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), Munich (4), and Vancouver (5).

At the bottom of the list were mainly Middle Eastern and African countries, with Baghdad taking the bottom spot, followed by Central African Republic’s Bangui (229), Yemen’s Sana’a (228), Haiti’s Port-au-Prince (227) and Sudan’s Khartoum (226), which all ranked low for personal safety.