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What’s better? Living in Singapore vs Taiwan

If you want a safe and high standard of living, choose Singapore, though it is expensive. Taiwan provides affordable living and a rich culture but may have higher pollution.

Choosing between these two Asian gems can be a challenge. Whether you’re drawn to the futuristic skyline and efficiency of Singapore or the lush landscapes and vibrant street life of Taiwan, each destination promises a distinctive living experience.

Let’s compare important factors between the two, shall we? Please note that USD is used for comparisons.

Cost of Living in Singapore vs. Taiwan

The monthly average cost of living in Singapore is $3,000, making it 209% higher than in Taiwan at $972 (

Singapore ranks third while Taiwan ranks 84th on the list of the world’s most expensive countries. They also currently rank third and 27th best countries to live in the world, respectively.

The average monthly salary after tax is $4,631 in Singapore, compared to $1,429 in Taiwan. 

Let’s break down the monthly living expenses between the two places to further investigate their differences, again using recent data from Living Cost.

Single-person living cost$3,000$972
Single-person utility bill$109$52.8
Family living cost $6,871$2,778
Family utility bill$167$81
Rent for one person$2,073$376
Rent for a family $3,846$880
Transport expenses$244$103
Food expenses $539 $386
Gas (1 litre)$2.16$0.98

Real Estate Prices in Singapore vs. Taiwan

People living in Taiwan pay 65.8% less for housing than those in Singapore (MyLifeElsewhere).

In Singapore, real estate prices are among the world’s highest due to limited land and high demand. The average price per square metre in the city centre is almost S$ 20,000 (USD 15,000), and suburban properties are also costly, making homeownership a significant investment with steep rental prices.

In contrast, Taiwan offers more affordable real estate. Prices have risen, especially in Taipei, but remain much lower than in Singapore. The average price per square metre in Taipei’s city centre is around TWD 220,000 (USD 7,800). 

Outside Taipei, property prices are even more affordable, making homeownership and rentals more accessible.

The table below breaks down some of the average costs of housing in both places, with data culled from MyLifeElsewhere and Living Cost.

1-bedroom apartment rent (downtown)$2,750.06/month$385.85/month 
1-bedroom apartment rent (outside the city centre)$2,019.11/month $271.82/month 
20-year mortgage interest3.52% 1.87% 
Cost of buying an apartment (per square metre, city centre)$19,988$7,223
Cost of buying a house (per square metre, suburbs) $13.033$4,221

Demographics and Diversity in Singapore vs. Taiwan

Singapore has a younger population than Taiwan. Singapore’s median age is around 42 years, while Taiwan’s median age is higher, around 43.5 years (data from IndexMundi). 

Singapore also has a more diverse population than Taiwan. It boasts a multicultural society with significant Chinese, Malay, Indian, and expatriate communities, while Taiwan’s population is predominantly Han Chinese with smaller indigenous and immigrant groups.

Ethnic groups in Singapore include Chinese 74.3%, Malay 13.5%, Indian 9%, and other 3.2%. Please note that these categories are self-identified—Chinese, Malay (includes indigenous Malays and Indonesians), Indian (includes Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan), and other (includes Eurasians, Caucasians, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese).

Meanwhile, Han Chinese (including Holo, Hakka, and other groups from mainland China) make up over 95% of Taiwan’s population; while indigenous Malayo-Polynesian peoples comprise 2.3%.

Spoken languages✔ English (official) 48.3%
✔ Mandarin (official) 29.9%
✔ Other Chinese dialects 8.7% (Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka)
✔ Malay (official) 9.2%
✔ Tamil (official) 2.5%
✔ Other 1.4%
✔ Mandarin Chinese (official
✔ Taiwanese (Min Nan)
✔ Hakka dialects
✔ About 16 Indigenous languages 
Religions✔ Buddhist 31.1%
✔ Christian 18.9% 
✔ Muslim 15.6%
✔ Taoist 8.8%
✔ Hindu 5%
✔ other 0.6%
✔ none 20% 
✔ Buddhist 35.3%
✔ Taoist 33.2%
✔ Christian 3.9%
✔ Folk religion (includes Confucian) approximately 10%
✔ None or unspecified 18.2% 

The table below further illustrates the two places’ demographic profiles, with data taken from IndexMundi.

Population growth rate0.95%0.04%
Birth rate9.13 births/1,000 population7.43 births/1,000 population
Death rate3.93 deaths/1,000 population7.8 deaths/1,000 population
Infant mortality rate1.56 deaths/1,000 live births4.03 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth86.19 years80.95 years
Migration rate (net)4.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population 0.75 migrant(s)/1,000 population 

Career Opportunities in Singapore vs. Taiwan

Singapore earns second place in the Ease of Doing Business rankings. Taiwan ranks 15th.

When it comes to the diversity of career opportunities, Singapore offers a broader range of opportunities across multiple sectors, while Taiwan has a strong focus on manufacturing and tech.

If you’re considering expanding your business to Singapore or Taiwan, here’s a table highlighting their advantages. 

Strategic Location: Singapore is a global hub situated at the crossroads of major trade routes, providing easy access to markets in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.Highly Skilled Workforce: Taiwan has a well-educated and technologically skilled workforce, particularly in areas like electronics, semiconductors, and information technology. This talent pool can be a valuable asset for companies in these and related sectors.
Business-Friendly Environment: Known for its ease of doing business, Singapore offers a transparent regulatory framework, low corporate taxes, and minimal bureaucracy.Robust Economy: Taiwan boasts a strong and diverse economy, with significant strengths in technology, manufacturing, and services. Its economic stability and growth provide a fertile ground for businesses looking to invest.
Advanced Infrastructure: The country boasts world-class infrastructure, including a highly developed transportation network, reliable utilities, and cutting-edge telecommunications.Strategic Location: Taiwan is strategically located in East Asia, making it a gateway to other major economies in the region such as China, Japan, and South Korea. This geographical advantage can facilitate easier market entry and supply chain integration across Asia.
Financial Hub: As a major financial centre, Singapore provides excellent access to banking, investment, and financial services.Vibrant Business Environment: The business environment in Taiwan is dynamic and innovation-driven, characterised by a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a high degree of global integration. This environment is conducive to business growth and innovation.
Legal and Intellectual Property Protection: Robust legal framework with strong protection for intellectual property rights.Supportive Government Policies: The Taiwanese government offers various incentives for foreign investments, including tax breaks, subsidies, and assistance in site selection and worker training. These policies are designed to attract foreign businesses and facilitate their operations.
Government Incentives: Various government incentives and grants are available to support businesses, particularly in key sectors like technology, healthcare, and finance.Cultural and Economic Ties with Global Markets: Taiwan enjoys extensive trade relations and cultural ties with major economies around the world, which can be advantageous for businesses looking to operate in multiple countries.
Quality of Life: High quality of life with excellent healthcare, education, and safety standards, making it attractive for expatriates.Quality of Life: Taiwan offers a high quality of life with its modern amenities, safety, healthcare, and cultural richness, making it an attractive location for attracting and retaining talented employees.
Work Visas and Permits: Singapore offers various work visas and permits, such as the Employment Pass for foreign professionals, managers, and executives. The process is straightforward but requires meeting high salary thresholds and qualifications.Variety of Work Visas: Taiwan offers several types of work visas, including the Employment Gold Card which is a special visa combining work, residence, and tax benefits. This visa is particularly attractive to high-skilled professionals and provides greater flexibility.
English as a Business Language: English is the primary language of business, which significantly reduces the language barrier for many international business owners and workers.Cultural Richness and Quality of Life: Taiwan is known for its vibrant culture, friendly populace, and high quality of life, factors that can be very appealing to new residents.

In terms of moving to either country for business or job opportunities, each one poses a unique set of challenges, as illustrated by the following table:

High Cost of Living: Singapore’s cost of living, including housing, transportation, and general expenses, is among the highest in Asia, which can be a significant consideration for individuals and businesses.Language Barrier: Unlike Singapore, Mandarin Chinese is the dominant language in Taiwan, which can pose a significant barrier to business communication and integration for those not proficient in the language.
Competitive Job Market: The job market is highly competitive, especially in high-skilled sectors. Foreign workers need to demonstrate significant expertise to secure positions.Regulatory and Bureaucratic Hurdles: Although improvements have been made, Taiwan’s regulatory environment can still present more challenges and bureaucratic hurdles compared to Singapore. This includes aspects of business operation and compliance.

To sum it up, Singapore provides a streamlined, efficient business environment, though it has a high cost of living and strict employment requirements. 

Meanwhile, Taiwan offers a rich cultural experience and a growing business-friendly climate but faces more regulatory hurdles and language barriers compared to Singapore.

Crime and Safety in Singapore vs. Taiwan

A higher safety index indicates a safer and more secure environment. Meanwhile, a lower score on the Global Peace Index suggests a higher state of peace.

The 2024 Global Residence Index rates Singapore with a safety index of 0.9 and a global peace index of 0.84, while Taiwan has a safety index of 0.79 and a global peace index of 0.72.

Taiwan generally has a lower crime index than Singapore. For example, Taipei’s crime index stands at 15.46 compared to Singapore’s 27.96 (DataPandas), indicating that Taipei experiences lower crime rates.

In terms of feeling safe, Taiwan scores slightly higher than Singapore. Residents in Taipei, for instance, feel safer than those in Singapore, with Taipei scoring 84.55 on the safety scale compared to Singapore’s 76.92 (Numbeo).

Lifestyle in Singapore vs. Taiwan

If you prefer a highly structured and modern urban environment with top-notch facilities, Singapore might be more appealing. 

However, if you are looking for an affordable lifestyle with a rich cultural tapestry and a more relaxed daily life, Taiwan could be the better choice.

To further explore the differences in lifestyle between the two, we will compare their weather, transportation systems, and attractions.

Weather in Singapore vs. Taiwan


Unlike Singapore’s consistently hot and wet climate, Taiwan experiences a more varied subtropical climate that changes significantly with the seasons and varies by location.

When in Singapore, expect an annual humidity of up to 84 % compared to 79 % in Taiwan.

Singapore is a tropical country, given its 100 km distance to the equator. Meanwhile, Taiwan is categorised as subtropic, with a 2,400 – 2,800 km equatorial distance.

In Singapore, April is the hottest month, averaging 32.4°C, while January is the coolest at 30.5°C. In Taiwan, July is the warmest with temperatures averaging 33.5°C, and January is the coldest, averaging 20.2°C.

Singapore averages 2,117 hours of sunshine annually, peaking in February with 7.3 hours per day. Taiwan, with 1,570 annual sunshine hours, sees about 2.6 sunny hours per day in February (WorldData).

Things to Do in Singapore vs Taiwan


Since both are top tourist destinations, we’ll focus on activities that highlight the cultural richness and diverse attractions available in both Singapore and Taiwan, offering visitors a mix of natural beauty, urban adventures, and unique cultural experiences.

For art and culture, explore Singapore’s Haji Lane and its vibrant street art and independent boutiques. You can also enjoy local musicians at night while dining streetside. 

In Taiwan, participate in the tradition of releasing sky lanterns against the backdrop of Shifen Waterfall.

For nature immersion, visit Jurong Bird Park in Singapore, Asia’s largest bird paradise, featuring immersive aviaries and rare species. At Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark, marvel at unique geological formations like the famous “Queen’s Head” and engage in educational tours.

And for a bit of pop culture, “Friends” enthusiasts can visit a themed SG café which offers a nostalgic experience with décor and dishes inspired by the show. Meanwhile, Taiwan offers the scenic town that influenced Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” to Ghibli fans.

Healthcare in Singapore vs Taiwan


Singapore’s healthcare is efficient, with advanced technology and excellent public and private facilities. On the other hand, Taiwan’s universal National Health Insurance (NHI) offers comprehensive, affordable, and accessible care. 

Overall, both countries offer robust healthcare, but Singapore is often noted for its cutting-edge technology, while Taiwan stands out for its affordability and universal access.

The residents of both places give their respective healthcare factors high rankings, as shown in Numbeo.

Medical staff skill and competency75.7085.38
Speed in completing examinations and reports73.3284.92
Equipment for modern diagnosis and treatment92.5987.77
Accuracy and completeness in filling out reports80.4584.11
Staff friendliness and courtesy 78.3885.68
Responsiveness in medical institutions64.2979.56
Satisfaction with cost 49.3089.77
Convenience of location83.9289.91

Singapore vs. Taiwan: Which is better?

Cost of livingTaiwanThe monthly average cost of living in Taiwan is 209% lower than in Singapore.
Real estateTaiwanHousing in Taiwan is 65.8% less expensive than in Singapore.
Diversity and demographicsSingaporeSingapore has a younger and more diverse population compared to Taiwan.
Career opportunitiesSingaporeSingapore provides a wider range of job opportunities across various sectors.
Crime and safetySingapore (but not by much)Singapore has a safety index of 0.9, while Taiwan’s is 0.79.
LifestyleTiedSingapore would appeal to those who like a high-paced, structured urban environment. Taiwan is for those who want a more laid-back atmosphere with rich natural landscapes.
WeatherTaiwan The humidity percentage in Taiwan is more tolerable, and there are nuances to the weather.
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