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Life in Singapore vs USA

Living in a better place and improving your and your family’s lifestyle and living conditions is the ultimate goal of every person. There are many countries in the world that many people work toward and aspire to move to in order to achieve that goal. 

And out of many countries in the world, both the USA and Singapore are countries well-known for having a high GDP per capita. 

This post is to help those who are considering a move from Singapore to the US or vice versa for work or other reasons.

When considering a move to either of these countries, it’s essential to explore various aspects, including the application for Singapore residency and the USA visa process

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Life in Singapore vs the USA
Singapore is often described as a fantastic destination for a holiday, it’s diverse, vibrant, modern, and colorful but is it suitable to move to from the USA?

Before moving to any of these countries, it’s important to consider and compare life in Singapore vs USA. 

Singapore is definitely a modern country with a high living standard but many of the world’s people consider life in the USA to be better than in Singapore and thus aspire to move and live in the US. 

But is this really the case?

In this article, we look at many aspects of what makes up a good standard of living in a country to compare life in Singapore vs the USA.

Considering moving to Singapore? It’s a good idea to book a flight to Singapore to see what the place is like first and get a feel for a country you may be moving to.

Life in Singapore vs USA: Cost of living

If we are comparing life in Singapore vs USA then the cost of living is a major consideration to take into account. 

Generally, both the USA and Singapore are relatively expensive countries to live in.

Singapore is often considered one of the most expensive cities in the world.

According to the Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2023, Singapore was ranked as the 2nd most expensive city in the world. 

And while 8 U.S. cities were also ranked in the 25 costliest cities to live in, the highest ranking for the US was New York at 6th. 

The survey takes into account various factors like housing, transportation, food, and entertainment. And we will discuss more of these factors below.

It’s also important to consider that while Singapore is considered expensive, it also offers a high standard of living, excellent public services, and a strong economy. 

Salaries in Singapore can also be relatively high, which can offset the higher cost of living to some extent. However, the specific cost of living for an individual or family will vary greatly based on lifestyle choices and individual circumstances.


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Housing Costs in Singapore vs USA

Housing costs in Singapore are generally considered to be quite high compared to many cities in the United States. 

Singapore is a small city-state with limited land area, and this scarcity of land can drive up property prices. 

Private condos and landed properties in desirable areas can be very expensive. The cost of private housing in Singapore can be comparable to or even higher than housing costs in major U.S. cities like New York or San Francisco.

Rental costs in Singapore can also be high, particularly in prime locations. However, rental costs are highly variable depending on the type of property and its location.

Food and Grocery Costs in Singapore vs USA

The cost of groceries and food in Singapore and the United States can vary widely based on factors such as location, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

And in the US it can depend on the city of the US you are comparing costs with. 

a view of singapore city with trees and lots of buildings.
Singapore is small with limited land housing costs generally higher than in the US, usually, the rent in the US is 30% cheaper than in Singapore, but it depends a lot on the US city and location.

Grocery prices in Singapore are often considered relatively high compared to many other countries due to the limited agricultural production in the city-state. 

However, there are different types of grocery stores, including local markets, supermarkets, and specialty shops. Prices can vary, but imported items tend to be more expensive.

The cost of groceries in the United States can vary significantly by region. 

In general, the US offers a wide range of options, from affordable grocery stores to upscale supermarkets. Prices may be lower compared to Singapore, especially for locally produced goods.

Dining out in Singapore can be relatively expensive, particularly in upscale restaurants. 

Hawker centers and local food stalls, however, provide more affordable dining options, often offering delicious local cuisine at reasonable prices.

And Singapore street food is world famous. Singapore is the only place in the world where you can find street food stalls (hawker stalls) that have been awarded Michelin stars, signifying their culinary excellence.

Eating out in the U.S. varies widely based on the type of restaurant and location. 

Major cities like New York and San Francisco tend to have higher restaurant prices, while smaller towns and rural areas may offer more affordable dining options.

Education in the US vs Singapore

Singapore is a country that is quite known for its high-quality education. 

And the US is known for its opportunity for students to speak their minds. 

While Singapore is the 19th best in the world when it comes to education, it still does not provide its students with the freedom that US schools provide. 

Singapore universities are some of the best in the world with a very high acceptance rate that majorly depends on merit criteria. So, to prepare students for those universities, most of the schools focus on just studying. 

This way most of the kids don’t really have time to enjoy other activities of childhood. 

While in the US they also focus on creativity, independent thinking, and co-curricular activities. 

Life in Singapore vs USA: Weather

Weather is another factor important when moving to another country. Singapore, unlike the USA, is located near the equator and is humid throughout the year. 

Most of the time-temperature is high in Singapore. Rains do make the weather a bit pleasant but other than that it is like summer for 365 days. 

Sometimes you even have to shower 2-3 times a day due to high temperature so if you don’t like heat then Singapore isn’t for you to live in. 

But the USA on the other hand has 4 seasons and has pleasant weather most of the time

It can get very cold in winter but that too has its perks. And even summer isn’t as hot or humid as Singapore. 

aerial view of city buildings in singapore
Singapore has a hot and humid tropical climate characterized by consistently high temperatures and heavy rainfall throughout the year, also, green areas are common.

Health in Singapore vs USA

Well, the only thing money can’t buy is life. And in terms of health facilities, Singapore is quite a good place. 

Even when compared to the USA. Its health facilities are affordable and you don’t have to wait for months to get an appointment with a specialist.

Another reason why Singaporeans are one the healthiest people in the world. While the USA is also a developed country, its healthcare system isn’t as good as it should be. 

And the greatest wealth is health. 

Safety in the US vs Singapore

Singapore is often known as the country where even consuming chewing gum can make you a criminal. 

In general, Singapore is known for its extremely low crime rate and strong law enforcement. 

By contrast, the United States has a more varied crime landscape, with crime rates depending on location, socioeconomic factors, and local law enforcement practices.

When it comes to life in Singapore vs the US, Singapore wins when it comes to public safety and crime. Singapore is considered one of the safest cities in the world. Crimes such as violent assaults and theft are relatively rare.

Singapore has strict laws and strong law enforcement, which serve as strong deterrents to potential criminals. Penalties for offenses can be severe, including corporal punishment for certain crimes.

Traditional Asian buildings and a statue in Singapore
Singapore maintains a relatively low crime rate, with stringent laws, efficient law enforcement, and strict penalties contributing to its reputation for safety.

The city-state’s focus on public safety is evident in its clean and well-maintained streets. The efficient police force and robust security measures contribute to a sense of security.

Cultural factors also play a role in the low crime rate, as society places a strong emphasis on social order and discipline.

Crime rates in the United States vary widely depending on the city, region, and neighborhood. Some cities have low crime rates, while others, especially in urban areas, may have higher rates of violent crime and property crime.

The United States has higher rates of gun violence and mass shootings compared to many other countries, partly due to the widespread availability of firearms.

Transportation and Daily Commutes

The connectivity network of Singapore’s public transport system is super efficient. It is among the best in the world. 

Singapore is known for its efficient and extensive public transportation system. It includes buses, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains, and Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems. The public transit network covers almost every part of the city, making it easy to get around without a car.

Singapore is just a small island and you can get to any place within an hour.

The USA is known for its car-centric culture, and many Americans rely on personal vehicles for their daily commutes. This can result in traffic congestion and a higher cost of living due to car ownership.

Singapore is known for its highly efficient and accessible public transportation system, while the USA’s transportation experience varies greatly depending on the specific city or region. 

In some major U.S. cities, public transportation is well-developed and efficient, while in others, owning a personal vehicle is often more common. Commuting habits and options in the USA are influenced by local factors and the availability of public transportation infrastructure.

Outdoor Activities

The US is a lot bigger and thus offers a much bigger variety when it comes to outdoor activities. 

You will never run out of cities to visit, sunny beaches, hiking trails, icy lakes, fishing spots, pubs, casinos, museums: whatever it is that catches your fancy. 

That’s a great advantage for people who love going out, being outdoors, doing things.

Singapore is known for its well-maintained urban parks and green spaces. Some popular ones include Gardens by the Bay, East Coast Park, and Sentosa Island. These parks offer opportunities for picnics, jogging, cycling, and leisurely walks.

Despite its small size, Singapore has several nature reserves, such as Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, where you can explore the local flora and fauna.

Given its location on the equator, Singapore offers plenty of opportunities for water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing.

a man inside the Subway Cave in sedona, united states
While the Asian country has many amazing landscapes, in a Singapore against US comparison, the United States has a bigger and more diverse outdoor, with a ton of amazing landscapes

The U.S. boasts an extensive system of national parks and outdoor recreational areas, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and many others. 

These parks offer hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, and stunning natural beauty.

The USA is a diverse country with varying landscapes, making it ideal for outdoor sports like skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking in different regions.

Apart from mountains and rock ranges the US is also known for a wide range of beautiful beaches along both coasts, offering opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and beach volleyball.

Camping is popular in the United States, with numerous campgrounds in national and state parks. And you can camp in various settings, from deserts to forests.

Natural Landscape

The US definitely beats Singapore when it comes to natural landscapes such as mountains, parks, lakes, rivers, forests, beaches, and an extremely vast landscape with a wide variety of natural beauty and wonder.  

The parks in Singapore are incredibly tiny when compared to the Wildlife parks and even recreational parks in the US.  

And in Singapore, there are virtually no natural landscapes like mountains, lakes, or park trails that one can enjoy. 

Life in Singapore vs USA: Final Thoughts

Moving to greener pastures to improve your and your family’s lifestyle, and education of financial situation is the main reason people travel and move/migrate for work purposes.

And many have made the move from the US to Singapore and vice versa.

There are different pros and cons to life in Singapore vs the USA and this post has attempted to paint a picture to help you make a decision on whether moving is worth it or not.

At the end of the day a lot of it comes down to personal preferences but to sum things up very briefly, Singapore is safer and a lot smaller so it’s easier to get around and is probably more expensive than most places in the US.

The US offers a lot more opportunities for exploring the outdoors and experiencing different climates and a whole range of activities from skiing to hiking to name just a few. Safety and crime really depend on where in the US you are and daily commutes can be a lot more frustrating due to traffic, but again this really depends on where you are in the US.

Last Updated on November 1, 2023

One thought on “Life in Singapore vs USA”

  1. I was born in Singapore but my mother planned to move out after I finished national service. I had experience before going to Secondary school in Singapore and is good, but predicted that the future would be nastier. I have never been USA before but would possibly go to that country or Canada only after being the part of the army for 2 complusary years.

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