The recent listings of the most expensive cities to live in are dominated by Asian countries. The ranking is based on the comparison of the prices of commodities such as food, housing, utilities, home services, personal care, alcohol and tobacco, domestic supplies, transportation, and recreation and entertainment.
Hong Kong (SAR)
Despite the recent upheavals in the special administrative region, Hong Kong retains the top spot as the most expensive city in the world for a second year. An expat should expect a mid-range monthly rent of HK$30,000, a full lunch meal for HK$93, and a pair of sneakers for HK$799.
Tokyo is the 14th most popular tourist destinations in the world in 2019. If an expat moved into Tokyo in 2019, expect an average monthly rent of ¥45,000, ¥4,000 for transportation, and ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 for food.
Singapore ranked fourth in the most popular cities in the world and the third most expensive city to live in. If an expat decides to move into Singapore, a single person should have a minimum budget of SGD$3,000 for monthly rental, SGD$12 for a full lunch meal, and SGD$95 for public transportation tickets.
Seoul, South Korea
Seoul ranked 24th in the most visited cities in 2019. If an expat decides to move into the city, expect an average monthly rental of ₩1,450,000, a full lunch meal for ₩9,608, and ₩67,000 for public transportation tickets.
As the only European country to break into the top ten, Zurich is an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy a high cost of living and political stability. If an expat decides to move into Zurich, expect a monthly rent average of about CHF2,300, a complete lunch meal in the business district for about CHF26, CHF14 for fast food, and CHF142 for a pair of sneakers.
In Shanghai, renting a fully furnished mid-range housing can cost an average of 9,400元 per month, a mid-range studio for 5,700元 a month, 192元 for monthly public transportation tickets, and 60元 for a full lunch meal.
Ashgabat is a surprising entry to the top ten but not if you consider the Turkmenistan’s recent currency struggles. A person moving into Ashgabat should expect a mid-range housing rental of 2,130 Manat per month, a full meal for 44 Manat, and 249 Manat for a pair of sneakers.
In Beijing, a fully furnished average house may be rented for 7,700元 a month while a more expensive rental can run up to 13,400元. For a full meal in business districts, you pay for an average of 50元 and 32元 for fast food.
New York City, United States
As the only entry from the Americas in the top ten, rental in New York City averages $3,100 per month, $16 for a full lunch, and $124 for public transportation tickets.
In Shenzhen, rental can go for as high as 11,500元 for high-end homes, a total of 169元 for monthly public transportation tickets, and 44元 for a full lunch.