Hong Kong is the overall most expensive ciy in Asia-Pacific and is the second most expensive city in the world (after Luanda) as at January 2018, mainly due to extremely high housing costs, as well as high cost of schooling and limited space available making rentals high.
Singapore remains the second most expensive city in the Asia-Pacific region for expatriates (3rd most expensive in the world) and tops the region rankings when costs related to housing, education, medical and transport are excluded.
Tokyo is the third most expensive city in Asia-Pacific, and 8th globally. Japanese locations have remained high in the rankings with 5 cities in the Asia-Pacific top 10 most expensive places.
Shanghai is the fourth most expensive place for expatriates in the Asia-Pacific region, and 12th globally.
Luanda in Angola is the most expensive city in the world for expatriate professional migrants to live. As opposed to Hong Kong, everything in Luanda is expensive as almost all international standard goods and services are imported. Despite the lower oil price, the slow-down in oil related projects, and dramatic reduction in revenue to Angola in 2016, prices in Luanda remain extremely high.
Hong Kong is the second most expensive city due to the very high cost of housing and healthcare, as well as the strong Hong Kong dollar which is fixed against the US Dollar. An interesting observation is the fact that if 4 of the 13 baskets are excluded from the cost of living index calculation (namely Housing, Education, Medical and Transport) then Hong Kong drops out of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world. This illustrates that not everything in Hong Kong is expensive. It is therefore very important it is to ensure that the correct baskets are included in an expat cost of living index.
Doha in Qatar is the most expensive city for expats in the Middle East as at January 2018, followed by Beirut in Lebanon, and Jerusalem in Israel.
While Doha is the most expensive city in the Middle East, it is only ranked 59th in the world. In Doha alcohol, housing, and education costs are very high.
The latest available inflation rate for all countries world wide (as available in 15 February 2018):
Afghanistan 3.1% (Nov 2017).
Albania 1.7% (Jan 2018).
Algeria 4.62% (Dec 2017).
Angola 22.72% (Jan 2018).
Anguilla 3.1% (2014 est).
Antigua and Barbuda 1.4% (2012 est).
Argentina 25% (Jan 2018).
Armenia 2.7% (Jan 2018).
Aruba -0.3% (Dec 2017).
Australia 1.9% (Dec 2017).
Austria 2.2% (Dec 2017).
Azerbaijan 12.9% (Dec 2017).
Bahamas 1.8% (Nov 2017).
Bahrain 1.3% (Dec 2017).
Bangladesh 5.83% (Dec 2017).
Barbados 3.4% (July 2017).
Belarus 4.5% (Jan 2018).
Belgium 1.71% (Jan 2018).
Belize 1% (Dec 2017).
Benin 3% (Dec 2017).
Bermuda 1.7% (Apr 2017).
Bhutan 5.18% (Sept 2017).
Bolivia 2.71% (Dec 2017).
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.2% (Dec 2017).
Botswana 3.1% (Jan 2018).
Brazil 2.86% (Jan 2018).
British Virgin Islands 2% (Nov 2016).
Brunei -0.02% (Dec 2017).
Bulgaria 2.8% (Dec 2017)….
January 2018 survey by Xpatulator.com based on expatriate professional migrant spending focusing on “international” brands and premium service providers such as up-market medical practices, international schools, and exclusive, secure accommodation.
The top ten most expensive countries in the world as at January 2018 comprise three from Africa Angola (1); South Sudan (3); Central African Republic (10), three from Europe Norway (2); Switzerland (5); Denmark (7), three from America Bermuda (4); Cayman Islands (6); Bahamas (8), and one from Asia Pacific Japan (9).
The January 2018 top 10 world country cost of living comparison (covering 216 countries) rankings for all expat basket items from most expensive location to least expensive are as follows:
1. Angola (Africa)
2. Norway (Europe)
3. South Sudan (Africa)
4. Bermuda (Americas)
5. Switzerland (Europe)
6. Cayman Islands (Americas)
7. Denmark (Europe)
8. Bahamas (Americas)
9. Japan (Asia-Pacific)
10. Central African Republic
Oslo is Europe’s most expensive and the world’s 4th most expensive city, leapfrogging past Zurich and Geneva.
Zurich and Geneva are ranked as the second and third most expensive expat cities in Europe and the 5th and 6th most expensive cities in the world for expatriates as at January 2018. This is due primarily to the strong Swiss Franc as well as due to high rentals and institutionalized high wages.
An interesting observation is that the most expensive cities in Europe are dominated by Non-Euro countries.
Top 20 City Rankings as at 1 January 2018 – Overall cost of living Index – All 13 Baskets:
1. Luanda (Angola-Africa)
2. Hong Kong (China-Asia-Pacific)
3. Singapore (Singapore-Asia-Pacific)
4. Oslo (Norway-Europe)
5. Zurich (Switzerland-Europe)
6. Geneva (Switzerland-Europe)
7. Hamilton (Bermuda-Americas)
8. Tokyo (Japan-Asia-Pacific)
9. New York (Manhattan) NY (USA-Americas)
10. Monaco (Monaco-Europe)
11. Bangui (Central African Republic-Africa)
12. Shanghai (China-Asia-Pacific)
13. Sydney (Australia-Asia-Pacific)
14. San Jose CA (USA-Americas)
15. Copenhagen (Denmark-Europe)
16. Yokohama (Japan-Asia-Pacific)
17. George Town (Cayman Islands-Americas)
18. San Francisco CA (USA-Americas)
19. Nassau (the Bahamas-Americas)
20. Osaka (Japan-Asia-Pacific)