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World 10 most expensive cities for expats


Published on Dec 13, 2011

Tokyo has retained its title as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, according to the latest Cost of Living Survey by ECA International. The continued strength of the yen was cited as a key factor in Tokyo’s position. Three other Japanese cities - Nagoya (4th), Yokohama (6th) and Kobe (10th) also made the top 10. In fact Japan is one of only three countries with cities in the top 10, along with Norway and Switzerland.

Australian cities have become more expensive this year, according to the survey. Sydney is now the 15th most expensive city worldwide - a stark contrast with three years ago when the city ranked just 157th. Canberra (17th) and Melbourne (23rd) then Adelaide (24th), Perth (25th), Brisbane (26th) and Darwin (27th) all featured in the top 30.

“A year ago the prices of goods and services in ECA’s basket in Australia had risen by 2.6% on average. Over the last year this figure has almost doubled to 4.8%,” said Anna Michielsen, ECA International's General Manager for Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific.

Singapore, which has moved rapidly up the global ranking in recent years, is now at 31st place, while the most expensive locations in mainland China are Beijing (35th) and Shanghai (41st). Of the Asian locations surveyed, the largest rises up the global rankings were seen among the Chinese provincial hubs. Chengdu rose 21 places to 144 and Wuhan climbed 20 places to 146.
A strong won meant that South Korean cities have maintained their positions near the top of the global ranking. While Seoul has only risen one place to 21st in 2011, this is significantly higher than its 56th position two years ago.
World 10 most expensive cities for expats:

1)    Tokyo, Japan
2)    Oslo, Norway
3)    Geneva, Switzerland
4)    Nagoya, Japan
5)    Zurich, Switzerland
6)    Yokohama, Japan
7)    Bern, Switzerland
8)    Stavanger, Norway
9)    Basel, Switzerland
10)   Kobe, Japan

ECA International

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