Climate drags down KL in quality of life survey, but it’s still cheap for dating

Kuala Lumpur has dropped 14 places in a study that rated it among the ‘least people-friendly’ cities by world travellers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Kuala Lumpur has dropped 14 places in a study that rated it among the ‘least people-friendly’ cities by world travellers. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is one place from the bottom in Deutsche Bank’s “Mapping the World’s Price 2017” study on the quality of life in 47 countries.

This year’s edition saw KL falling 14 places in the ladder, and is now beneath India’s Mumbai and Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital that was previously rated among the “least people-friendly” by world travellers.

Wellington, New Zealand was the top city in the index while the last spot went to Manila in the Philippines.

Dragging down KL’s score was its climate, which took last spot in the entire survey. It fared marginally better in the area of safety, and took 43rd there. It was 39th for healthcare and 38th for pollution.

Some consolation for KL is that Singapore, which was 39th overall, was also rated poorly on its climate, sharing the bottom spot with KL.

However, the two cities diverged in other areas. Singapore remains one of the most expensive cities to live in, coming in at 35th in the cost of living index, whereas Malaysia was eighth in the area, making it one of the top 10 cheapest cities in the list.

This also made KL an affordable location for couples. It took 45th spot in the “Cheap Date Index”, which inversely ranks locations based on their affordability.

The index calculates cab rides, dinner or lunch for two at a pub or diner, soft drinks, movie tickets and a beer or two.

A Malaysian couple needs only an average US$44.10 for these, compared to nearly twice the amount in Singapore.

The survey also found KL residents to be 13 per cent poorer than last year, with the average salary dropping to US$987 per month, down from US$1,136 in 2016.

The report was first published five years ago. It calculates price indices using secondary data available online, such as from the Expatistan website.

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