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Singapore vs. Germany Where should I settle

Singapore vs. Germany: Where should I settle? 

When I think about choosing between Singapore vs. Germany, I picture Marina Bay Sands vs. the Neuschwanstein Castle. The sunny tropics or cooler weather? 

I say opt for Singapore if you want a fast-paced lifestyle, tropical climate, and thriving business environment. On the other hand, go to Germany if you want excellent work-life balance and colder weather.

To further help you make an informed decision on where to settle and start a new life by yourself or with your family, here’s a comparative guide between the two countries.

Cost of Living in Singapore vs. Germany

Cost of Living in Singapore vs. Germany
The cost of living for one person in Singapore is nearly 50% more expensive than in Germany. 

A person living in Singapore would spend at least $3,500 monthly to live comfortably, while a person living in Germany would need about $1,500 a month. 

However, some utility expenses like Internet bills, phone bills, and transportation are cheaper in Singapore than in Germany. 

Monthly living expenses include the cost of rent, utilities, childcare, and transportation. Living in Singapore is significantly more expensive than in Germany if you’re living by yourself. 

According to Numbeo, a family of four’s average monthly expenses in Singapore could reach up to $7,000 while in Germany, a family can live comfortably with $3,800 a month. 

Refer to the table below for a breakdown of living expenses between Singapore and Germany: 

Expenses Germany Cost Singapore Cost 
Housing (Average Rent per Month) 
1-bedroom apartment  (downtown)$1,346$3,769
1-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre) $1,020$2,657
3-bedroom apartment (downtown)$2,491$7,125
3-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre)$1,893$4,973
Utilities (Average Monthly Bill) 
Utility bill for one person $424$238
Internet plan $67$46 
Transportation (Fare)
1-way ticket (local transport ticket)$4.38$2.00
Monthly pass (local transport ticket)$71.47$128
Taxi start (normal tariff)$6.42$4.30
Gasoline (1 litre)$2.55$2.83
Childcare and Education
Preschool or kindergarten$280 per month$1,498 per month 
Primary school (private and international) $12,632 per year$37,472 per year 

The average monthly expenses above are calculated based on living in Germany’s capital, Berlin, vis-a-vis Singapore. 

Even if the rent in Germany is lower than in Singapore, some expenses like transportation, phone and internet bills as well as electricity and heating are more expensive in Germany. 

Additionally, the cost of eating at restaurants is 13% more expensive in Germany than in Singapore. 

When it comes to grocery prices, Singapore is 20.3% more expensive, which can bring up your monthly expenses to nearly $10,000 if you are living there with a family. 

Real Estate Prices in Singapore vs. Germany

Real Estate Prices in Singapore vs. Germany
Real estate prices in Germany are relatively cheaper than in Singapore, with a 120-square-metre single-family detached home costing $4,802 per square metre in Berlin, according to Statista

The same home size would cost you $44,726 per square metre in Singapore. 

As for condos or flats, German real estate prices are at $11,584 per square metre, while in Singapore, it’s at $26,924.

To give you a better idea of how to compare real estate prices in both countries, Singapore has a smaller land mass than Germany. If you’re going to live in Singapore, you will likely live in a flat or condo as landed properties (detached homes) are scarce. 

The scarcity of land space and the high density of people living in one area of Singapore are key contributors to hikes in real estate prices. 

On the other hand, Germany has more than one major city (Singapore is a city-state), and suburbs surrounding the central business districts offer relatively more affordable real estate options. 

Property TypeGermanySingapore
Single-Family Home (Detached or Landed)$7,005 per square metre$44,726 per square metre
Condo or Apartment $11,584 per square metre$26,924 per square metre

Diversity and Demographics in Singapore vs. Germany 

Diversity and Demographics in Singapore vs. Germany
Germany’s population is predominantly of German descent, comprising 86.3% of the total populace. 

Additionally, significant ethnic groups include those with origins from Eastern Europe, such as Turkish, Ukrainian, Syrian, Romanian, and Polish backgrounds.

Meanwhile, Singapore has a culturally diverse population, with ethnic groups hailing from all over Asia. These groups are mainly Chinese, Malay, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Eurasian. 

According to the German citizenship law, individuals born in Germany or with at least one parent who migrated* to or was born in Germany are classified as German nationals, regardless of their migrant background or ethnicity.

*The migrant parent should have lived in Germany for at least 8 years.

Conversely, Singapore’s citizenship laws mandate that at least one parent must be a Singaporean citizen for eligibility. 

Birth alone does not confer Singaporean citizenship unless foreign nationals have resided in Singapore for a minimum of 10 years, acquired citizenship, and renounced their previous citizenship.

Nevertheless, both countries boast diverse racial profiles, with Singapore exhibiting a greater degree of ethnic diversity, evident in its densely populated ethnic neighbourhoods.

For a better view of Germany’s and Singapore’s racial composition, refer to the table below with data collected from Index Mundi

Racial Composition GermanyRacial Composition Singapore
Turkish1.8%Malay 13.7%
Polish1%Indian 8.9%
Syrian1%Other 3.2%

Germany also has a higher total population than Singapore, with 83,258,356 people. Despite its significantly higher total population, its capital city, Berlin, has a smaller population than the whole of Singapore, with just 3,677,472. 

Singapore, on the other hand, has a total population of 6,044,290. It’s worth noting, however, that Singapore has a smaller land area than Germany (Germany is the most populous country in Western Europe).

Geographic LocationEuropeSoutheast Asia
Size (Area)357,022 square kilometres 734.3 square kilometres 
Total Population 83,258,3566,044,290
Female Population 50.7%47.78%
Male Population 49%52.22%
Median Age 44.9 years old42.8 years old
Life Expectancy at Birth 82 years old 84.27 years old 

There’s a larger number of males in the total population of Singapore as compared to Germany. The opposite can be said about the female population, with Germany having 50.7% as compared to Singapore’s 47.78%. 

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the country saw an increase of 1,455,000 people in their population due to Ukrainian refugees entering the country since the war in 2021. 

Sadly, there have been more deaths than births since the last recorded census in 2011, but with Germany continuing to open their borders to refugees and immigrants, their population remains consistently growing. 

Singapore experienced a 5% population growth in 2023. Out of its over 6 million inhabitants, approximately 4.1 million are residents, with expatriates comprising around 30% of the population.

Singapore continues to be one of the most progressive and welcoming countries for expatriates, thanks to its business-friendly economy, free-trade policy, high standard of living, and low crime rates. 

Career Opportunities in Singapore vs. Germany

Career Opportunities in Singapore vs. Germany
When it comes to career opportunities, Singapore takes the cake in terms of the unemployment rate at just 1.9%, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower. The rate is considered one of the lowest in the world. 

Meanwhile, Germany has an unemployment rate of 3.2%. 

Moreover, the average salary for a full-time worker in Singapore is $5,783 a month, while in Germany, it’s $5,597 a month. 

Singapore takes the cake in terms of career opportunities and employment rates, but Germany isn’t super far behind. When it comes to foreign workers, however, Singapore has been one of the most attractive destinations for expatriates.  

This is because Singapore has a free-market economy and salaries for expatriates are often very lucrative. Foreign workers also enjoy a progressive tax system that makes paying your dues seamless and easy. 

Plus, getting a work or residence permit in Singapore takes about 15 minutes, provided that you have all the legal documents to support your overseas employment. If you’re a foreigner looking to start a business in Singapore, the process is equally swift. 

Although Germany has a higher unemployment rate, career opportunities for foreigners are abundant across several fields, specifically in Information Technology. 

Companies in Germany also pay lucrative salaries, especially for foreigners working in major cities like Berlin and Munich. The standard of living in these cities is high, so salaries may often go upwards of $110,000 a year.  

German companies are also more lenient when it comes to working hours, prioritising flexibility over strict starting times. Work culture tends to be organised and hierarchical, but puts a strong emphasis on sociability and good work-life balance. 

Crime and Safety in Singapore vs. Germany

Crime and Safety in Singapore vs. Germany
Singapore is a safer country than Germany, with a crime index of only 23.5 and a safety index of 76.5. Germany has a crime index of 39.01 and a safety index of 60.99. 

Both countries are very safe countries to live in for expatriates, with lower crime rates compared to their neighbouring countries. 

It’s worth noting that although Singapore has a higher safety index, Germany’s crime rates have rapidly decreased since 2010. 

In fact, the lowest number of reported crimes per 100,000 people recorded in Germany at the turn of the century was 6,070 in 2021. 

Despite an increase of approximately 762 reported crimes since 2022, Germany maintains one of the world’s lowest crime rates. 

This is particularly notable given Germany’s population, which is 92% larger than Singapore’s. In spite of that, its reported crime rates consistently remain below average.

Singapore’s crime rates remain consistently low, boasting just 847 reported crimes per 100,00 people. In fact, the country hit a record in 2021 for having 250 heinous crime-free days, the longest it’s ever reported since 2015. 

Key Insights (2022)GermanySingapore
Total number of crime cases 5.63 million53,862
Crime rate per 100,000 people 6,762847
Number of drug crimes361,0002,826
Number of sex crimes11,8969,629
Number of crimes related to violence214,09921,193
Number of crimes related to theft1.971 million7,878
The average age of violators 35 to 38 years old30 to 39 years old
Number of arrests per year1,130,00053,862

While both countries are generally safe destinations, common crimes in both include theft, fraud, and violent offences. Germany has also faced challenges with immigration violations following its decision to open borders to refugees and immigrants.

Lifestyle in Singapore vs. Germany

Lifestyle in Singapore vs. Germany
Singapore offers an ideal environment for those who thrive in a dynamic urban setting amidst tropical surroundings, providing convenient access to both natural scenery and bustling business hubs.

On the other hand, Germany is the country for those who want to live in a country with several cosmopolitan cities, ample cultural diversity, lots of nature spots, and heritage sites. 

To gain deeper insights into the lifestyles offered in each country, we conduct a thorough comparison across various factors including weather conditions, leisure activities, tourism opportunities, and healthcare services.

Weather in Singapore vs. Germany 

Weather in Singapore vs. Germany

Singapore has a tropical climate where it’s hot and humid all year long. 

Meanwhile, Germany has two main climates: humid continental in the east and marine and temperate in the west. It experiences spring, summer, fall, and winter. 

The benefit of living in a tropical country like Singapore is that you’ll get lots of sunny days throughout the year. The tropical climate also gives residents plenty of rainfall during the wettest months, which usually runs from December to March. 

Moreover, Singapore’s average humidity level is at 82%, making precipitation more likely and temperatures to feel warmer than they actually are. 

Germany, on the other hand, experiences changing seasons. Weather conditions vary across different regions in the country, offering residents options to move to different places where weather conditions favour them during the year. 

For example, people living in Western Germany experience milder winters than those living in Eastern Germany thanks to its closer proximity to the sea and largely flat landscapes. 

Eastern Germany is flagged by mountains and higher terrain, preventing warmer air from reaching the provinces southwards. 

The main difference, however, is that Germany has winters and Singapore does not. Temperatures in Germany are a lot cooler and less humid daily, though. 

Things to Do in Singapore vs. Germany 

Things to Do in Singapore vs. Germany

In Singapore, tourists flock to parks, green spaces, tropical forests, and beaches, capitalising on the tropical climate and island lifestyle. Conversely, Germany’s seasonal changes offer residents a chance to experience diverse landscapes.

Winter draws enthusiasts to mountain ski resorts for activities like skiing, sledding, and snowboarding. 

With a rich historical legacy, Germany hosts numerous heritage sites including mediaeval kingdoms, Gothic churches, and castles, making it a global tourist magnet.

When it comes to national celebrations, Singapore takes the cake in terms of cultural and religious festivals, owing to the city-state’s numerous ethnic neighbourhoods with devout followers of several faiths. 

In Singapore, there’s Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, the Lantern Festival, Deepavali, Vesak, Eid al-Fitr, and the National Day of Singapore. 

In Germany, festivals celebrated both regionally and nationally, often revolve around cultural, traditional, and religious themes. 

The renowned Oktoberfest, tracing back to the marriage of King Louis I and Princess Therese in the 1800s, is a highlight featuring horse races, concerts, balls, and ample beer. 

Other notable celebrations include Karneval (Mardi Gras), National Day of Mourning (commemorating Nazi regime victims), German Unity Day, and Martinstag (Old Halloween).

Healthcare in Singapore vs. Germany

Healthcare in Singapore vs. Germany

The healthcare system of Singapore is among the best in Asia with a Health Care System Index of 71.92. In Europe, Germany is one of the top five countries with the best healthcare system, with an index of 72.09.

The healthcare system index serves as an approximate measure of a nation’s overall healthcare system quality. Various factors impact these assessments, such as the range of services provided, healthcare accessibility, infrastructure, and available resources.

Both Germany and Singapore are among the countries with the best healthcare systems in the world, but Germany takes the lead in terms of medical equipment, convenience, patient preferences, and timeliness. 

Below are some of the factors and data, collected from Numbeo, that affect the overall healthcare index in both countries:  

Skill and competency of medical staff75.4374.66
Speed in completing examinations and reports68.7772.30
Equipment for modern diagnosis and treatment85.7591.29
Accuracy and completeness in filling out reports73.7479.31
Friendliness and courtesy of the staff67.2677.28
Responsiveness (waiting in medical institutions)52.2063.38
Satisfaction with Cost72.3348.61
Convenience of location80.9882.75

Both countries offer universal healthcare but citizens acquire it differently.

In Singapore, healthcare is provided through a mandatory savings requirement where individuals and their employers pay a portion of their income in a life insurance scheme called Medisave. 

Aside from that, Singapore’s public healthcare is also funded by taxes and privately. 

Usually, these deductions range between 8% to 11% of an individual’s monthly salary, which can be pretty steep. 

If the insurance amount cannot cover hospital bills, a bigger insurance scheme called Medishield may be used (but these are managed by private insurance companies). 

Germany also has a mandatory health insurance scheme that is funded by gross salary deductions and government subsidies. Amounts are determined based on an individual’s salary and are under a fixed limit. 

This means people in Germany who earn high incomes (more than €69,300 or $101,281 per year) either pay taxes or pay private insurance companies with premiums. These private insurance premiums mainly cover risk-related issues.  

Unemployed people, however, still need to pay the minimum premium at their own expense.  

It’s important to note that public healthcare is not available for foreign nationals or expatriates, but they are allowed to acquire private health insurance from insurance companies of their choice. 

Singapore vs. Germany: Which is better?

Singapore vs. Germany Which is better

Choosing whether Singapore or Germany should be your destination for a new chapter in life all boils down to your needs as an individual or as a family. 

Both countries boast highly developed and highly globalised economies, making them attractive destinations for people looking for better career opportunities. 

Moreover, both Singapore and Germany boast high standards of living, cultural diversity, low crime rates, and high-quality healthcare. 

To sum everything up, taking into account all the aspects discussed, here are our conclusions regarding which city holds superiority based on the factors mentioned earlier:

Factors The Better City Why 
Cost of Living GermanyThe cost of living in Germany is nearly 50% cheaper than the cost of living in Singapore. 
Real Estate GermanyHouse or condo prices in Germany, inside and outside city centres, are cheaper than in Singapore. 
Singapore’s small size and limited land capacity drive real estate prices up. 
Diversity and DemographicsSingaporeSingapore, despite its small size, is more culturally diverse. There are multiple ethnic neighbourhoods in Singapore. 
Career Opportunities SingaporePeople in Singapore enjoy a free-market economy, innovative infrastructure, and more lucrative salaries. 
The unemployment rate in Singapore is also lower than in Germany at 1.9%. 
Crime IndexSingaporeSingapore has a lower crime rate than Germany, with only a reported 857 crimes a year.
HealthcareTieBoth Germany and Singapore offer universal healthcare for their citizens and show very high healthcare system index rates. 
TourismTieBoth Germany and Singapore offer a plethora of activities and tourist spots, depending on your preference. 
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