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The world’s most expensive cities to live in this year

According to the latest expert report, five of the ten most expensive cities in the world are in Asia. Europe is represented by three, and Paris, which previously topped the list, is now clearly “cheaper” and is not even in the top thirty in terms of the high cost of living.

But the cost of living for migrants in many Chinese cities continues to rise, with Shanghai and Guangzhou topping the list.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the number one contender for the top spot for the third year in a row, with high prices and a strong currency helping it maintain its position. A liter of milk in Hong Kong will set you back $4.39. There is no doubt that here you will pay big money for everything from gasoline to food and a cup of morning coffee to go.

New York

The Big Apple moved up two spots to land on the silver step of the podium this year. It is the only North American city to make the top 10 most expensive places to move in, largely due to US inflation.


Traditionally the most expensive city in Europe for foreigners, Geneva again took 3rd place this year. The Swiss currency, the Swiss franc, rose to a record high against the euro last year. That being said, while prices in Switzerland are higher than in the rest of Europe, Swiss workers are among the highest-paid on the continent.


High inflation in the UK is the main reason for London’s ranking, however, the British capital remains incredibly popular among ex-pats. The government estimates that over a third of the foreign-born population now lives in London.


This year, the Japanese capital has dropped three positions to fifth place. According to the survey, negative interest rates and rising inflation, which weakened the yen, are the main reasons for the “fall” in the rankings. This is understandable, as a weaker yen makes goods relatively cheaper for visitors and foreign workers who are paid in other currencies.

Tel Aviv

Up to one spot from last year, Tel Aviv is the sixth most expensive city for ex-pats. This Israeli city is objectively one of the most affordable in the world due to high prices for food, alcohol, and transport.


It is no coincidence that the financial and cultural capital of Switzerland is among the most expensive cities in the world. Zurich ranks seventh on the list due to the consistently strong Swiss franc and the high cost of goods and services.


Shanghai is the 8th most expensive area in the world and the third most expensive area in Asia. The main reason for the high prices is the continued appreciation of the Chinese yuan against other major currencies and China’s strong economic performance in recent years.


This bustling Chinese port city has climbed to ninth place from last year when Guangzhou rounded out the top ten. In 2019, local authorities stated that about 83,400 foreigners lived in the city.


The South Korean capital has dropped two places to 10th in the world rankings, but remains the fifth most expensive city in Asia, primarily due to inflation.

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