Singapore vs Tokyo Cost of Living


I was working in Tokyo; then I moved from Tokyo to the Garden City during the year 2010. I have been living for seven long years with a personal EP in Singapore. Now, I’m writing this article to let the audience know about the comparative costs of living between the two cities. To start with, I have heard several economists saying the living costs in these nations are similar in several ways. Note that these two have been listed in the top ten costliest cities on the globe for expat living. But, what I noted is a different scenario. Let me tell you about this here…

Tax Comparison


Tokyo city view

Now, let’s compare the taxation in the two cities. For immigrants, Japan decides upon the income tax as per your residential status. Foreigners who are living in Japan for one year or less would require paying tax only for their generated earnings. Those expats who are living there for one year and above, the tax rates will be progressive. It could range from five to forty percent and is calculated based on various factors.

On the other hand, for the first year in Singapore, you will pay fifteen percent. For the coming years, it will be $550 for your first 40,000 and seven percent for the remaining. Note that there is a thirty percent rebate for the residents. Thus, the tax rates can be considered negligible for the residents.

Overall Cost Comparison

The “Japanese Yen” is nearly equal to .012 SD. So, you could see that the costs will be higher for a similar quality of life in Singapore than Tokyo. For instance, you would require around $8,200 to live in Singapore for the same quality of life that you could have with just $7,000 in the Japanese city.

A report says that the consumer costs in Tokyo are about 9.5% greater than that of Singapore. But, other than the consumer costs and groceries, the costs of Singapore are found to be greater than those of Tokyo. While grocery costs are about 30% greater than in Singapore, the consumer costs, rent, restaurant, and power costs are also greater in Singapore.

Various Considerations


Singapore city view

When it comes to housing, Singapore is offering a wide range, which means that you can choose from many options. This is not possible in Tokyo, where there are only limited options available. Irrespective of whether you choose to stay in the city or in a remote area, large apartments would cost more, and it would be about 10 to 15% higher than housing in Singapore. However, Tokyo could be economical for the smaller flats.

Transportation is another essential thing to consider. Although public transportation is much preferred for travel in both the cities, the costs are highly variable. In Tokyo, the costs are much higher than that of Singapore. Whether it be your monthly train fare or a taxi ride, all the means of public transport are found to be costlier in Tokyo.

Thus, the common perception that Singapore is more expensive than Tokyo can be changed by choosing our options to live in Singapore wisely.

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