According to a survey by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released on Tuesday (19 March), Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris took home the title as the world’s most expensive cities for expats to live in.
This is the first time in the history of the survey that three cities took the first spot as the world’s most expensive city, said EIU.
Last year, Hong Kong and Paris were placed fourth and second respectively, while Singapore remained its position as the most expensive city in the last five years.
The EIU’s 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey looks and compares over 400 individual prices across 10 products and services in cities around the world. These items include food, drink, clothing, household supplies and personal care items, along with private schools, domestic help and recreational costs.
Based on the survey, Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris are all 7 per cent more expensive than New York. Meanwhile, cities like Seoul and Copenhagen is at the same level with New York and shared the same seventh place.
Besides Singapore and Hong Kong, other Asian cities that’s part of the top ten chart for this year are Japan and Seoul, placing fifth and seventh respectively. Other cities that make up the top 10 list include Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, New York, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles.
“When looking at the most expensive cities by category, Asian cities tend to be the priciest locations for general grocery shopping. However, European cities tend to have the highest costs in the household, personal care, recreation and entertainment categories—with Zurich and Geneva the most expensive in these categories—perhaps reflecting a greater premium on discretionary spending,” it said.
The report also mentioned that currency fluctuations remained to be a major cause for changes in the ranking. Economies with appreciating currencies, such as the US, climbed up the ranking significantly.
Although Asia is home to some of the world’s most expensive cities, but they also have many of the world’s cheapest cities like Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi in India, as well as Pakistan’s Karachi.
This bi-annually survey is done to help companies calculate cost-of-living allowances and build compensation packages for expats and business travellers.