This City Has the Worst Vacation Policy in the World

See how some of the big cities in the United States stack up as well.

Singapore Skyline. Singapore`s business district, blue sky and night view for marina baymartinho Smart/Shutterstock

No matter how much you may love your job, there’s nothing like the feeling of embarking on a well-needed vacation and forgetting all of your responsibilities. And it’s your company’s vacation policy that determines how often you can experience that. But average vacation policies vary quite a bit by country, with some nations offering considerably more vacation time, on average, than others. In the U.S., policies can vary drastically by company—and some have secret work perks that will make you insanely jealous.

The home rental company Spotahome recently conducted a study assessing the world’s healthiest cities. The study ranked 89 different cities throughout the world based on many different factors, including life expectancy, obesity, air and water quality, and, yes, vacation time. Each statistic received a ranking from 0-10, and then the study averaged all of those numbers to create an overall ranking. Out of the 89 cities in the study, only one city received a 0 for vacation time: the city-state of Singapore.

Since Singapore is an island city-state, Singapore is both a city and a sovereign nation. Singapore’s vacation policy allows a minimum of seven vacation days per year, reports Business Insider. Employees who have more experience may receive up to 14 days’ paid vacation, but the average overall number of days still ranks poorly compared with the rest of the world.

And its less-than-ideal vacation policy may have some dark repercussions for residents, beyond just being overworked. Business Insider points out that Singapore ranked second on the list in terms of life expectancy, behind only Tokyo. The only glaring difference between Tokyo and Singapore’s stats? The vacation policy. Singapore’s vacation policy, therefore, could be having a negative impact on its citizens’ longevity. And there is, in fact, scientific proof that skipping vacation can be harmful to your health.

As for the United States, it actually didn’t fare so well, either. The five American cities in the study (Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York) all placed in the bottom ten in terms of vacation time, with none scoring higher than a 2.5. The best city in the world for vacation days, on the other hand, is Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was the only city to score a ten in that area. According to the UBS Global Cities Ranking 2018, residents of Riyadh get an average of 37 vacation days per year. Maybe Singapore—and various cities in the United States—could take a lesson from them! When you do take your vacation days, make sure you’re making them count with these travel tips for the best vacation ever.

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Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.