According to a 2019 worldwide ranking on cost of living, Singapore placed third.
Mercer’s 2019 cost of living ranking saw Singapore two ranks above Zurich, Switzerland. In the 2018 ranking, Zurich was placed third, and Singapore, fourth.
In 1984, before now-Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong became prime minister he set a target for Singapore to reach a “Swiss standard of living” by 1999.
While ESM Goh told CNN in an interview that he was referring to the per capita of income, or the average income earned per person in a given area.
In his interview, he said, “In 1984, when we talked about the Swiss standard of living, I was using a simple measure of per capita income. By 1999, we would like to achieve the 1984 per capita income of Switzerland”.
Since then however, his measure of “Swiss standard of living” has been used for numerous comparisons and to pit Singapore against various benchmarks along the way.
Following the 2019 Mercer results, many netizens brought up ESM Goh’s words once again. However, they did so in a negative light, saying that Singapore ranking as the 3rd most expensive city globally was hardly something to be proud of.