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World’s top 20 expensive cities for expats to live in

ECA International analyses the cost of consumer goods and services in more than 490 locations worldwide.

Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city to live in as an expat for the second year in a row, according to a new study. New York and Geneva took second and third place in the rankings.

Higher prices and a stronger currency over the past year kept the Asian city at the top of the tree, according to ECA International, which carried out its research in March this year. London and Tokyo round out the top five. Soaring rental costs were part of the reason London and New York took their positions in the top five, with rent in those cities rising 20 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

Here are the world’s top 20 most expensive places for expats (with the March 2021 ranking in parentheses):

  • Hong Kong (2021 ranking: 1)
  • New York, US (4)
  • Geneva, Switzerland (3)
  • London, UK (5)
  • Tokyo, Japan (2)
  • Tel Aviv, Israel (7)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (6)
  • Shanghai, China (9)
  • Guangzhou, China (10)
  • Seoul, South Korea (8)
  • San Francisco, US (15)
  • Shenzhen, China (12)
  • Singapore (13)
  • Beijing, China (16)
  • Jerusalem, Israel (18)
  • Bern, Switzerland (17)
  • Yokohama, Japan (11)
  • Copenhagen, Denmark (14)
  • Oslo, Norway (19)
  • Taipei, Taiwan (21)


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