These are the most expensive cities in the world for 2022 – See the list


Which cities have a lower ranking than in previous years?

The annual list of the most expensive cities in the world to live in was published by the global mobility company ECA International, and once again Hong Kong topped the list.

The company calculates the list based on various factors, including the average price of basic household products such as milk and cooking oil, rent, utilities, public transportation and the strength of the local currency.

This is the third consecutive year that Hong Kong is claiming the dubious honor of being the most expensive city in the world in the ECA index. The index focuses specifically on foreign workers and expatriates in their ranking.

It’s safe to call Asia the most expensive continent, with five cities – Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Seoul – landing in the top 10.

Some regulators include the Middle East in Asia. In this case, Tel Aviv – which is in sixth place – also counts in the whole of Asia and would give it six out of 10 places.

Lee Quane, ECA Regional Director for Asia, explained the rationale for China’s growing presence in the index.

“Most of the mainland Chinese cities in our ranking have higher inflation rates than we are used to seeing, but they are still usually lower than elsewhere in Asia,” Quane said in a statement.

“Therefore, the main reason for their rise in the ranking was the continued strength of the Chinese yuan against other major currencies.”

Which cities have a lower ranking than in previous years?

Paris, which was at the top of the ECA list in the past, dropped from the top 30. Madrid, Rome and Brussels also fell.

“Almost every major eurozone city has fallen in the rankings this year, as the euro has performed worse in the last 12 months against the US dollar and the British pound,” Quane explained.

External factors such as politics and international conflicts can also play a role. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the accompanying sanctions imposed by many countries meant that Moscow came in 62nd place and St. Petersburg in 147th.

The most expensive city in Europe is Geneva, Switzerland, which was in third place after Hong Kong and New York. Switzerland uses the Swiss franc instead of the euro.

The coronavirus pandemic has, of course, played a role in global supply chains and other economic factors.

Others scores

ECA International is not the only company that ranks the world’s cities by economy.

The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) publishes the global cost of living index every December. In 2021, Tel Aviv received the award for the most expensive place to live, with Paris and Singapore tied for second place.

Hong Kong was in fifth place, behind Zurich. In 2020, Hong Kong, Zurich and Paris shared number one.

Both lists use the prices of everyday items such as groceries and fuel to determine their ranking. However, the EIU links its size to the US dollar, so economies that do the same thing – like Hong Kong for the first time – are more likely to rank high.

Either way, regardless of the order in which cities are listed in different indexes, it is clear that cities in Asia, Europe, and North America are much more expensive to live in than the corresponding cities in Africa and South America.

The most expensive cities in the world

1. Hong Kong
2. New York
3. Geneva
4. London
5. Tokyo
6. Tel Aviv
7. Zurich
8. Shanghai
9. Guangzhou
10. Seoul

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