World’s Most Expensive Cities: 2022’s Ultimate List
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Are you ready for the list of the world’s most expensive cities? Logically, New York is always present everywhere, so on this list, it takes a prominent second position. I bet all New Yorkers feel good and bad about this at the same time. However, Asian cities dominate the list with Hong Kong taking the title of the most expensive city in the world yet again (this is the third time, and it seems like it won’t step down from this position that soon).
Imagine living in a city where one liter of milk costs almost $5. Talking about luxury! But for Hong Kongers, that price is reality. The world-famous ECA has researched the cost of food, clothing, utility costs, transport, household goods, meals out, and alcohol, to calculate the cost of living in 207 different cities across the world.
Here are top ten candidates.
Location: Special Administrative Region of China
For the third year in a row, Hong Kong has been highlighted as the world’s most expensive city. Everything you can imagine is at least two or three times more expensive than in NYC, London, or Geneva. For example, the cost of tomatoes in Hong Kong is $11.51! While the price for the same product in New York is $6.55. Petrol is extremely expensive nowadays, however, no one pays as much as Hong Kongers with $3.04 per liter!
Here every year price rises by at least 3%. With over 7 million people living in this city, it’s not only the cost of rent that makes the city expensive. The competitive demand for housing and all the activities Hong Kong has to offer, like its endless markets, booming economy, vibrant nightlife, and ancient attractions.
New York City
Location: United States
New York, is rapidly evolving, which means the cost of living here evolves as well. In 2021 NYC was ranked fourth, and just one year later has become the second most expensive city in the world. It seems like it is competing hard to reach Hong Kong’s standard since the prices of cooking oil and coffee are almost the same in these two cities. Bright lights, big city, big opportunities, big salaries, big rent. The average rent prices in the Big Apple reached almost $4,000 in some of the most popular boroughs. That is a lot of money.
This is the first European city to make the cut on this list. Geneva is known as the international city, the headquarters of the U.N. and the Red Cross. We all heard about the famous Jet d’Eau, the world’s tallest water fountain, well you can visit it regularly if you line in Geneva. This city breathes luxury, you’ll find tons of luxe cafés and shops, restaurants, and high-end bars with out-of-this-world offers and prices.
All that luxury does come at a high price, to be more precise you will need approximately about $3,500 for rent, food, and transportation. This is extremely high for the old continent. The shocking thing is that Paris doesn’t even make it into the top 30.
The royal city has climbed up one position from last year. London is known as a summer destination, considering their temperatures during summer months are easy on tourists. However, London will dig a hole through your pocket. Just in April, inflation climbed to 9% in the U.K. making everything extremely expensive. This capital city of England has a population of just over 9 million people, and if we thought living and visiting was expensive, we didn’t think about owning and operating a business.
That means that even though business owners have a hard time paying high rental rates for storage space, more often they need to pay an extra chunk of change to purchase everyday essentials.
Japan’s capital was the second-most expensive city for expats in 2021, but it has plunged to number five. Other Japanese cities have also dropped in rankings due to a weakened yen.
Lee Quane explained, “Although prices have risen in Japan at rates which are high in comparison to recent norms for the country, Japanese cities are cheaper relative to many other locations worldwide. This is because the yen has weakened over the course of the past year as the U.S. and other countries have raised interest rates to combat inflation while rates in Japan remain negative. The weaker yen makes goods relatively cheaper for visitors and expatriate workers paid in other currencies as their money will now go further.”
In December 2021, Tel Aviv was named the world’s most expensive city to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit Survey. It was the second most expensive city in the world for alcohol and had the fastest inflation rate recorded in the last five years.
It’s definitely a top contender when it comes to high costs, but the ECA report ranks it at number six in 2022, one level up from 2021.
Another Swiss city on the list. Although Zurich has dropped in ranking—it held the sixth position last year—it is still one of the most expensive cities for overseas workers. It’s a global city with international organizations and banks, and it’s definitely known for the luxuries of high-end boutiques and fancy restaurants.
Shanghai is the third most expensive Asian city on this list; globally, it takes the eighth spot.
“The majority of the mainland Chinese cities in our rankings have higher rates of inflation than we are used to seeing, but they are still typically lower than elsewhere in Asia. Therefore, the main reason for their rise in the rankings has been the continued strength of the Chinese yuan against other major currencies, due to China’s relatively strong economic performance during the survey period which makes these cities more expensive relative to other locations.”
Asian cities have caused a stir this year—Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo has jumped 23 places in the listings to take the 149th spot globally. It has seen the fastest rise in price over the past year due to a shortage of supplies and lack of foreign currency reserves.
Another Chinese city that has taken a leap is Guangzhou, which was number 10 in 2021. It is an important port city for the country with a colorful history. It is also the fourth most expensive Asian city for overseas workers.
Location: South Korea
Seoul closely follows Shanghai and Guangzhou—it is the 10th most expensive city in the world and the fifth most expensive city in Asia.
South Korea has been attracting vacationers with its thriving nightlife, world-class cuisine, bustling markets, and fun pop culture. If you’re planning a visit, we recommend these unique hotels to elevate your experience.
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