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Singapore tops Asia rankings in youth mobility index

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The four original Asian Tiger Economies – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea – along with Japan were found to lead the streak in .Asia’s inaugural Youth Mobility Index (YMI) 2018 rankings.

Analysing 20 localities across Asia, the YMI measures youth mobility in a matrix of three sectors – education, employment, and entrepreneurship mobility- across five mobility vectors – outbound mobility, inbound mobility, startup mobility, sustainability factor, and internet factor. Within the 5 mobility vectors, each of the 15 components are built on 4 dimensions, bringing the total to 60 indicator compounds.

Singapore took the top spot with an overall score of 9.41 out of 10, followed by Hong Kong in second place with a score of 8.80, and Japan with a score of 7.78.

Rounding off the top five were South Korea and Taiwan, with overall scores of 7.49 and 5.98 respectively. While Malaysia came in sixth with a score of 4.64.



The report noted that as the leading Asian tigers, Singapore and Hong Kong are ahead of the rest by a substantive margin.

However, scores come close between the two countries, with Singapore and Hong Kong taking top spots in 16 and 13 out of the 60 indicator compounds  respectively. At the same time, both claimed five top scores out of the 15 mobility components as well as one of the three core sectors within the YMI framework.

It further noted that while both countries were even in the total number of top scores in mobility components, Singapore came in with a better all-round scoring across the board, sweeping the top ranks in the combined score for four of five mobility vectors (outbound, inbound, startup, internet factor). In terms of the sustainability factor, the Island Nation was second only to South Korea.

Supported by strong English proficiency, quality primary and secondary school system, Singapore also took top spot for the overall score in education mobility.

YMI infographic


Meanwhile, Hong Kong was dominant in the area of entrepreneurship mobility, sweeping all four of five in entrepreneurship mobility vectors (outbound, inbound, startup, internet factor). Similar to Singapore, Hong Kong only fell short in the sustainability factor, settling for second place to Japan.

Hong Kong was also found to be strong in total torrent (combined outbound and inbound students, migrant, travellers, goods and services).

While both countries dominated the first two places in all four torrent measures, Hong Kong took the top spot for three out of four combined torrents in the YMI framework (migrant force, traveller force, and import-export force). The one area that Singapore had a lead on Hong Kong was outbound-inbound student force.

Perhaps not surprisingly, when it comes to cost-happiness performance (the level of happiness over the cost of living) both Singapore and Hong Kong found themselves at the bottom. Hong Kong was left at the very bottom, while Singapore came in at 18th place, edging over Korea in 19th.

ALSO READ: Staff in APAC expect better mobility in their future workforce

When it comes to the Tiger Cub Economies (the economies of the developing countries), Malaysia took the lead, catching up closely to Taiwan.

This was supported by a strong showing in English proficiency – for which Malaysia came in second just behind Singapore and ahead of the Philippines.

Additionally, the report noted that as a hub that is culturally welcoming for Chinese, Muslims and westerners alike, Malaysia ranks third in total torrent (combined student, migrant and traveller force), along with a strong youth migrant advantage.

Scroll through the infographics for a detailed ranking of the top 6 countries:

Infographics / .Asia
Lead photo / 123RF

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