Global transport company ECA International has published its annual list of the most expensive cities in the world to live in and, once again, Hong Kong was at the top of the list.
The company calculates the list based on a number of factors, including the average price of essentials like milk and cooking oil, rent, utilities, public transportation, and the strength of the local currency.
This is the third year in a row that Hong Kong has claimed the dubious honor of being the world’s most expensive city in the ECA index. The index pays particular attention to foreign workers and expatriates in its rankings.
Asia receives an award
It’s safe to say that Asia is the most expensive continent with five cities – Hong Kong, TokyoShanghai, Guangzhou and Seoul are in the top 10.
Some regulators include the Middle East in Asia. In this case, Tel Aviv, which is in sixth place, also counts in Asia’s total and gives it six out of 10 places.
Asia also claims the honor of being home to the fastest growing city on the overall list. We are talking about Colombo, the main metropolis of Sri Lanka, which has risen by 23 positions from 162nd to 149th place.
Li Kuan, ECA Regional Director for Asia, explained the reason for the growing presence of mainland China in the index.
“Most of the mainland Chinese cities in our rankings have higher inflation rates than we are used to seeing, but generally lower than anywhere else in Asia,” Quain said in a statement. “Therefore, the main reason for its rise in the rankings was the continued strength of the Chinese yuan against other major currencies.”
Next on the list
So which cities are lower than in previous years?
Paris, which topped the ECA list in the past, fell out of the top 30. Madrid, Rome and Brussels also fell out.
“Almost every major city in the euro area has lost ground this year as the euro has performed worse than the US dollar and British pound over the past 12 months.”explain that
External factors such as politics and international conflicts may also play a role. Russian invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed by many countries put Moscow in 62nd place and St. Petersburg in 147th place.
The most expensive city in Europe is Geneva, Switzerland, which ranks third after Hong Kong and New York. Switzerland uses the Swiss franc instead of the euro.
The coronavirus pandemic has naturally affected global supply chains and other economic factors.
ECA International is not the only company that ranks the world’s cities by economic performance.
The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) launches its World cost of living index in December of each year. In 2021, Tel Aviv took home the Most Expensive Place to Live award, with Paris and Singapore tied for second place.
Hong Kong ranked fifth after Zurich. In 2020, Hong Kong, Zurich and Paris are tied for first place.
Both lists use the prices of everyday items such as food and fuel to determine their ranking. However, the EIU pegs its figures to the US dollar, so countries that do the same, such as Hong Kong, are more likely to rank high.
In any case, regardless of the order in which cities are listed in the various indexes, it is clear that Asian, European and North American cities are much more expensive to live in than their counterparts in Africa and South America.
The most expensive cities in the world
1. Hong Kong
2. New York
Maureen O’Hara of CNN contributed to the story.