Beijing Cracks Top 20 World's Most Expensive Cities for Expats

By Ned Kelly, June 13, 2022

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Global mobility company ECA International has released its annual list of the world's most expensive cities for foreign workers and expats to live in, and Beijing ranks a wallet-wincing 14th on the list.

The company calculates the list based on several factors, including the average price of household staples like milk and cooking oil, rent, utilities, public transit and the strength of the local currency.

Hong Kong topped the list for the third year in a row, while Shanghai came in eighth and Guangzhou in ninth.

"The main reason for the rise in [the mainland Chinese cities] rankings has been the continued strength of the Chinese yuan against other major currencies," Lee Quane, ECA's regional director for Asia, explained the PRC's growing presence on the index.

The continued strength of the Hong Kong dollar, meanwhile, helped the city retain its costly crown. 

Asia also stakes a claim to being the priciest continent, with five cities in the top 10 – the three Chinese cities being joined by Tokyo and Seoul, coming in fifth and tenth respectively.

Without further ado, here is ECA's cost-of-living index top 20:

1. Hong Kong

2. New York

3. Geneva

4. London

5. Tokyo

6. Tel Aviv

7. Zurich

8. Shanghai

9. Guangzhou

10. Seoul

11. San Francisco

12. Shenzhen

13. Singapore

14. Beijing

15. Jerusalem

16. Bern

17. Yokohama

18. Copenhagen 

19. Oslo

20. Taipei 

Additional reporting by Alistair Baker-Brian.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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