Asia Dominates the List of Most Expensive Cities

Hong Kong is the 2nd most expensive city to live in. (Image:  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
Hong Kong is the 2nd most expensive city to live in. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

If you are planning to to travel and work in Asia, it’s better to prepare ahead to make sure that you can make both ends meet, according to Mercer’s 2017 Cost of Living Survey.

Asian cities dominate the list

According to Mercer’s latest Cost of Living Survey, half of the top 10 most expensive cities are in Asia. Hong Kong (2) is the most expensive city as a result of its currency pegged to the U.S. dollar, which has driven up the cost of accommodations locally. This global financial center is followed by Tokyo (3), Singapore (5), Seoul (6), and Shanghai (8).

Taipei ranks 25th and the same living cost as Sydney, but it is more costly than London, which comes in 30th.

Tokyo (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Tokyo, the 3rd most expensive city to live in. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

According to Jeannie Liu, Career Business Leader of Mercer (Taiwan), the strong Taiwanese dollar relative to the U.S. dollar keeps lowering the purchasing power of expatriate employees. Despite the relatively stable prices in Taipei, the Taiwan dollar makes all services and goods more expensive, which is a similar situation to what is happening in many Asian cities.

Taking currency movements, the housing market, and inflation for goods and services into account, the survey ranks over 200 cities worldwide and compares the cost of more than 200 items, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. The annual ranking list has become a major source of reference for many multinational companies when sending expatriates abroad.

The 2017 top 10 most expensive cities in the world rankings are: Launda (1 — the capital of Angola), Hong Kong (2), Tokyo (3), Zurich (4), Singapore (5), Seoul (6), Geneva (7), Shanghai (8), New York City (9), and Bern (10).

Shanghai (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Shanghai comes in as the 8th most expensive city to live in. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

The report points out in its final conclusion that according to this latest cost-of-living research, you can see that most Asian and African countries are massively expensive, and this is not in proportion to the local people’s incomes and living standards. It is obvious that in some places they are higher than in developed Western countries.

International companies will need to give serious consideration to these costs when sending their expatriates to these now high-cost cities.

Translated by Cecilia and edited by Stefania.

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