Hong Kong is the most expensive city in the world for an expatriate professional migrant to live in as at July 2019, followed by Singapore and Monaco.
Hong Kong is the 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.
Singapore’s education system, which is widely regarded as the best in the world, is also the most expensive for expatriates when priced in US Dollars, the cost of housing is also extremely high due to the limited space and premium on high quality expatriate accommodation, while the complex Certificate of Entitlement system makes car prices excessive, resulting in Singapore’s transport costs being amongst the highest in the world.
This quarterly survey by Xpatulator.com of cost of living world-wide is based on expatriate professional migrant spending as opposed to local people’s spending. The difference between these two groups is that an expatriate professional migrant tends to pay a premium for “international” brands ideally from their home country, and they tend to make use of premium service providers such as up-market medical practices, international schools, and most prefer to live in exclusive, secure accommodation in order to maintain the quality of life to which they are accustomed back home. The survey covers over 200 items grouped into 13 cost of living baskets. The cost of living information is used by Xpatulator.com subscribers to calculate cost of living differences between global home and host locations for expatriate professional migrants. Cost of living differences are key to calculating expatriate pay for international assignments.