SITTING within booming Asia yet armed with the creature comforts of a developed economy, Singapore is tops as a migration destination for the young and educated.

It is the only economy in developed Asia - which includes Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan - that would not suffer a brain drain if people around the world can migrate anywhere they want, according to a poll by research firm Gallup.

In fact, Singapore would have four times its current number of educated adults, defined as those with at least a bachelor's degree. Even greater would be the jump in the number of those aged between 15 and 29: It would rise six times - a silver lining for a rapidly ageing population.

These results emerge from the answers of 350,000 adults in 148 countries who were asked whether they, if given the opportunity, would like to move permanently to another country, and if so, where.

Overall, Singapore's population would burgeon by 219 per cent, from its current 5 million to 15 million, leapfrogging it to the top of Gallup's Potential Net Migration Index. The index is calculated by subtracting the number of people who want to move out of a country from those who want to move in. Singapore is followed by New Zealand, Canada and Switzerland.

But the results come with two caveats. One, it measures aspirations, not intentions. Two, Singapore's small population means the impact of migration shifts is magnified. For instance, one million people eyeing Singapore would make a huge difference to its population, compared with say, the population of 300 million in the United States.

S'pore a top choice