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Shanghai now ranks the world's 8th most costly city for expats

A new report weighs up currency values and the costs of rent, public transport and household staples

Photograph: Hyunwon Jang via Unsplash
We love Shanghai, but it isn’t necessarily the most affordable city in the world. While some products and services are jaw-droppingly cheap, such as public transport, others have gone bonkers over the years (yes, we are talking about rent). In a new report from data firm ECA International, Shanghai was ranked eighth in the world’s most expensive cities for expats in 2022.

Unsurprisingly, Hong Kong has been named the world’s most expensive city for expats. This is the third year in a row that Hong Kong has topped ECA’s index, which takes into account things like currency value and the average cost of public transport, rent and household staples.

By almost every measure of spenny-ness, Hong Kong topped the rankings. For everything from tomatoes and cooking oil to petrol and take-out coffees, HK proved more expensive than the likes of Sydney, London and New York. The continued strength of the Hong Kong dollar also contributed to the city’s stubborn priciness.

So how did other cities across the globe do? Well, both New York and London rose in the rankings to second and fourth places respectively, with both having endured high inflation over the past year. Tokyo, meanwhile, dropped to fifth thanks to the weakened Japanese yen.

Here are full top ten most expensive cities for expats in 2022, according to ECA’s study.

1.Hong Kong
2.New York
6.Tel Aviv

ECA’s report isn’t the only measure of the world’s most expensive cities. Last year the Economist Intelligence Unit named Tel Aviv the world’s dearest place to live, though similarly included Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Geneva in its top ten.

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